Exmouth Youth Theatre is a friendly, inclusive, mixed ability drama group for young people aged 8 to 18 living in Exmouth and the surrounding areas. We teach young people creative and practical skills, build self-confidence, foster teamwork, and offer them regular opportunities to perform in safe and supportive settings.
Central to our ethos at Exmouth Youth Theatre is our dedication to providing an environment where young people feel safe and supported to take on new challenges and reach the best of their ability, under the guidance of experienced teachers.
We believe ALL young people should have the opportunity to experience, create and perform in high quality drama and musical theatre. We support and promote diversity, inclusion and equality, and welcome young people with additional needs. We provide an environment where all of our members feel equally valued, that they belong and that their contribution matters.
Through weekly sessions, Exmouth Youth Theatre seeks to equip young people of all ages with theatre skills in a structured and highly motivated environment. Members are trained in theatre techniques including acting, singing & dancing. Classes are initially improvisational in nature, graduating into textual and formal voice and movement work. They are a place to experiment, imagine, and explore your own ideas. We also encourage our members to participate in other areas of the theatre including working backstage, costume design, lighting, sound and production design.
To provide opportunities for children of all ages and abilities to learn skills in dance, drama and singing.
To create a culture of mutual support and an environment in which the children feel able to take creative risks and have any contribution valued.
To develop confidence, teamwork, life skills and the innate talent of young people in Exmouth and the surrounding areas.
Young people are not auditioned prior to membership, but are encouraged to learn and participate at whatever level is appropriate to their ability. Acceptance is based on enthusiasm and commitment and as such we have a diverse and mixed ability group. However, a high level of self-discipline and motivation is expected.
Unlike many groups, our members are not separated in terms of age or ability, a conscious decision being made to allow the group to benefit from the personality, skills and experience of all the members coming together as a cohesive group.
We currently have approximately forty members. If you are interested in finding out about joining Exmouth Youth Theatre please see our membership page.
We are proud to have recently launched as an independent youth theatre with an exciting future ahead of us. Our journey leading us to this point has had its ups and downs! Read our story below.
2018: Before becoming Exmouth Youth Theatre in 2020 we were known by another name: Blackmore Youth Theatre. We were based at Exmouth’s Blackmore Theatre, where our rehearsals and shows took place. Blackmore Youth Theatre was established by Tracey Hamilton in 2018 to offer young people opportunities to learn and develop theatre and performance skills, and support their personal development. Tracey created the group in partnership with the Exmouth Players who provided support with promoting and ticketing events, stage management, props, costumes, lighting, sound and more. Our first showcase was a great success and we started to plan our first major production for the following year – Annie Jr.
2019: Our production of Annie Jr in June 2019 was a sell-out, bringing new audiences to the Blackmore Theatre and showcasing what our talented young people were capable of. Its success resulted in nominations for NODA SW Youth Award for Company Singing, NODA SW Award for Company Characterisation and NODA SW Best Youth Production Cup. This needs to be seen in the context that the majority of the thirty-strong cast had never set foot on a stage in front of an audience prior to this event. Not bad for our first production!
2020: At the beginning of the year we were extremely excited to learn that we had been granted the rights to perform We Will Rock You YOUNG@PART. The show was cast, and rehearsals got off to a fantastic start! However, things started to look concerning when in March 2020, as a result of the present global pandemic, theatres and rehearsal venues closed. We are proud to say, our young members rose to this new challenge admirably – and despite the national lockdown, we continued to rehearse twice a week via Zoom! For many this was an emotional lifeline during those difficult times. The cast continued to work incredibly hard, determined to make We Will Rock You a fantastic theatrical experience. Postponed from its original June dates, the production was now due to take place at the Blackmore theatre and run from 14th to 22nd November 2020 with a total of 10 performances.
Sadly, our production of We Will Rock You was cancelled when the Exmouth Players’ committee made the decision to withdraw its support for the Youth Theatre around the August of that year. As we received no outside finance or grants, the group’s future was in the balance. We needed to quickly seek funding and find a new rehearsal venue.
We rallied quickly and with the support of our members, teachers, and their family, friends and colleagues we were able to find our feet. A crowdfunding campaign and our first successful grant applications enabled us to cover the costs of new rehearsal venues in Exmouth and Knowle which we settled into before the year was out.
2021: This year we launched as an independent charity! We are proud to be Exmouth Youth Theatre and are delighted and grateful for the donations we have received, and the grants we have been awarded by a number of local organisations. Furthermore we have been awarded the rights to perform Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical Jr in December 2021 and we can’t wait!
As we recover from the challenges of the past 18 months and look forward to an exciting future as Exmouth Youth Theatre, our young members continue to amaze us! When we created the group in 2018 we were blown away by the talent and commitment of these young people and their enthusiasm for putting on a full-scale show in front of a live audience. After their incredible success with Annie Jr, our young company have continued to go from strength to strength and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.