John (22) BA Hons (1st Class) Actor. Member 2003 – 2008
I was involved with and a part of the Manx National Youth Theatre from an early age. It was this establishment that exposed me to a diverse range of arts to become involved within. I do believe I learned many social skills such as communication, socialisation as well as gaining tons of confidence which has helped me with every aspect of life to date.
I believe that a youth theatre is an integral part and absolute necessity for a healthy and strong community. I also wish to add that the MNYT provides access to all young people, and makes an involvement in the arts possible for those from more deprived areas, with very reasonable prices, and free events and projects.
I am strongly of the opinion that even considering a cut of funding or retraction of investment would mean that many children don’t get the exposure and interaction within every aspect of the arts, that frankly I believe every child deserves.
Natalie (28) (solictor and amdram enthusiast.
I was a member of the Manx Youth Theatre throughout my first few years at High School. I attended weekly sessions on Kensington Road on a Wednesday evening – which quickly became my favourite night of the week! Over a number of years I had the opportunity to participate in many shows and performances – and I have a lot to thank it for!
I not only gained confidence and made some lifelong friends, but the skills I learned and the areas of stagecraft, technology, costume design, and the quirky fun activities (like circus skills!) we were able to have a go at proved an invaluable grounding in so many areas of my life. I went on from the experience and great fun I had at the MYT to participate through my teens in the Manx Academy of Performing Arts, perform in amateur and professional shows at the Gaiety and even further afield (even the Millennium Dome!) and many school productions.
The confidence I gained from being a part of the Youth Theatre has served me well ever since – prior to joining I had very little stage experience – at 28 I am now a member of my local amateur dramatics society the Dewsbury Collegians and take part in several shows each year – recently taking the lead in a performance of Jack and the Beanstalk attended over the 6 performances by 2000 people. As a child and early teen it was clubs like the Manx Youth Theatre that gave me the chance I would not have had elsewhere to try out new things, find out what I enjoyed, and move forward with the confidence I needed.
Having been bullied at primary school, in the Manx Youth Theatre I found a place I could be myself – and the scope to find out who I was. Without the Youth Theatre I may not have had the confidence now to be part of my local amateur dramatics scene – or to pursue my chosen career as a lawyer. I will forever be grateful to Fiona and the Youth Theatre for all they gave me and all they inspired me to pursue!
Maddy (16) Dancer
The YAC has given me a lot of opportunities along the way some of which include some of the best and most valuable experiences in my life.
Some of which include a once In a lifetime trip to London to visit pineapple dance studios to partake in various dance classes in a lot of different styles which I would never have been able to do otherwise due to organisation and contacts etc. another very important factor the YAC has given me is a chance to mix with people around my age that are interested in the same things as me (the arts) and make a load of new friends along the way that I will keep for life!
Overall the Youth Arts Centre has helped me get to where I am now as even my main hobby ballroom dancing is held in the centres dance studios which I feel is by far the best on the island; as I have visited many all over doing various classes, auditions and shows. Thank you.