Speaking to young people (teenagers) from around the Bay it was extremely interesting to hear their views. Some had experience of trying to access training and audition opportunities, with a view to building careers.
Key points of feedback where they have found that they experience exclusion from being able to become involved in performing arts, included
- Costs (high costs of youth theatre classes, and reports of some theatre companies charging £50 fees simply to audition for roles.) completely excluding young people from low income families or single parent families.
- Lack of information on auditions and things to become involved with
- Lack of empathy from theatre classes and theatre companies for neurodiverse/ disabled young people (one reported being expelled from drama school for a simple physical difficulty)
- A lack of collaborations between different organisations, venues, spaces that would create wider and bigger opportunities
- Opportunities that do exist need to be advertised in more places (a young person suggested more posters in windows, more information to be sent to and disseminated by youth groups and organizations)
- Torbay Council needing to make more opportunities for local people - including young people - to perform at creative and cultural festivals, rather than gravitating to hiring in creatives from outside the area.
The map below documents the main comments by the young people involved at the time..
It was extremely useful, as a form of self-checking, to learn both where what we do as a company aligns with challenging aspects of this feedback (we do not charge for involvement, we are led by a neurodivergent person and are very open to neurodiverse people, we make local performance opportunities wherever possible, and are always open to creative collaborations that fit with our work.
It was similarly very useful to learn about things which we can improve on, and be clearer about, and to learn that while we are often fighting to spread the word about our work , shows, and castings, they do not reach people entirely, and the young persons suggestions as to additional places to send our information to, will be extremely useful, to add into our plans for spreading the word.
Below is a photograph of the feedback from the young people