Just like the theatre itself, the Almeida Participation department is busy all year round. We produce lots of different types of activities for people of all ages, so no matter who you are, or what your experience is, there should be something that you can get involved with.
Our Young Artist programme, which runs throughout the academic year, consists of three main groups: Young Company, Young Producers and Young Critics, which we recruit each autumn.
The Young Company is split into two groups: 14 – 18 year olds and 18 – 25 year olds. These groups meet weekly (sometimes more) to train, play and learn together about being a theatre artist. Each year, the groups work with professional theatre artists to make a piece of work that is urgent, fresh and exciting – just like the work on the Almeida main stage.
We are aware that not everyone wants to be an actor, so we also have a Young Critics group, which also meets up on a fortnightly basis to go and see a variety of performance, theatre and art, and then discuss, dissect and respond to it. The Young Critics have previously written reviews and blogs; made podcasts and vlogs, and taken part in radio shows as part of the group.
Our Young Producers programme introduces a group of participants to the world of producing for theatre. They get to learn from a wide range of industry professionals about how the theatre industry functions, and work alongside the Almeida Team to organise panel events and performances, as well as guiding the direction of our For Free Festival.
We want to put young people’s voices at the heart of what we do, so in 2018 we started our Youth Board. The Youth Board exists to provoke, inspire and create positive change at the Almeida. The board consists of 10 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who are interested in arts leadership. They meet regularly as a group and are in dialogue with the Almeida Board and the senior management team at the Almeida.
We don’t only work with young people; we also run community projects each year, which give people of any age the chance to get involved with making a new piece of theatre, and learning more about the creative process. In 2018, we made a piece of theatre called Shuffle in response to Clare Barron’s Dance Nation. Shuffle was a dance-music-theatre-storytelling-mash-up, which celebrated the real-life stories from the local community, and explored the themes of power, strength and ambition.
We also work extensively with schools across London through our Schools Programme. We offer schools the chance to develop a bespoke programme of activity around our shows, where they can choose a variety of pathways to engage with the process of making theatre. Sometimes this might focus on performance in our Reimagining projects, where a school group might respond to our main house shows by making a new piece which they perform on the stage at the Almeida; or they could chose to explore a different side of the Almeida by looking at directing, or the more technical side of theatre, like lighting and sound design.
The Almeida For Free Festival will be four years old in 2020! The festival gives young people under the age of 25 the chance to see our shows for free and also take part in a wide variety of workshops and debates which cover everything from acting, writing, directing, theatre making and design. It is a big celebration of young people’s creativity that takes over the whole theatre with performances, and events happening throughout the day, and aims to give an insight into the way we work at the Almeida.
We also organise one-off projects in response to the main house shows, or through working with community groups, so even if you’re not part of our Young Artists programmes, there is still chance to get involved. You can find out more about our activities by looking at our annual report.
The best way to get involved is to sign up to our mailing list or follow us on twitter (@ATParticipate), where we’ll be posting any upcoming opportunities.
Sign up to our 16-25s mailing list to hear about opportunities, ticket offers and events.