Two members of Longford's Backstage Youth Theatre selected for National Youth Board

BYT Longford

Back row: Laura O'Riordan, Michael Foley, Eoin McAdam, Cathal Thornton, Clarabelle Murphy, Jen Coppinger (Youth Theatre Ireland Chair) front row: Daniel Beck, Rory Williams-Doyle, Michelle Carew (Dire

December was a proud month for the Backstage Youth Theatre following the election of two of its members to the national Youth Theatre Ireland Youth Board.

Rory Williams and Marie Lynch were thrilled to be selected to sit on the board, which is made up of nine Youth Theatre members from across the country.

Rory is the current secretary of Backstage Youth Theatre, while Marie has just started college.

What makes this election so special is the fact that this is the first ever Youth Board of Youth Theatre Ireland.

The Youth Board is a new initiative to ensure that the programme of work is youth-led and relevant.

The Youth Board will help to provide strategic leadership to the team at Youth Theatre Ireland by sharing their first-hand knowledge about the needs and interests of young people in the context of youth theatre.

The Youth Board members were selected from a competitive process that involved shortlisting and interviews.

They are all aged between 18 and 25, and have first-hand experience of youth theatre as either a member or leader, or both.

The rest of the board includes Cathal Thornton, Leader and ex-member of Droiched Youth Theatre, Louth; Clarabelle Murphy, Current member of Dublin Youth Theatre; Laura O’Riordan, Leader and ex-member of Tallaght Youth Theatre; Daniel Beck, Current member of Limerick Youth Theatre; Eoin McAdam, Leader and ex-member, Monaghan Youth Theatre; Michael Foley, Leader and ex-member, Roscommon County Youth Theatre; and Niamh Murphy, Ex-member, County Wexford Youth Theatre
Together they will pilot an ambitious model for including young people as decision makers in arts organisations.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Youth Theatre Ireland director, Michelle Carew, commented: “Ireland has the youngest population in the EU.

“Every arts organisation can and should include young voices and we look forward to sharing our learning from this initiative as it develops.”

The Youth Board began its work in December and will continue through 2018.

Watch this space for updates on their progress.

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