Huntingdon Youth Theatre (HYT) was formed by Dominic Whitehead, the current Chairman and Beryl-Anne Whitehead in 1997 with an original 80 youngsters enrolling on the first night and it has carried on continuously ever since.
The object is to provide the members of HYT with an opportunity to perform on stage for public performances with stagecraft knowledge and self-confidence for the future. Over 200 members have passed through our hands over the years and some have proceeded to act professionally. The members are aged from 11 years to 18 years but can stay longer than 18, dependent on them going to university or to work.
There are a number of adult leaders who support the youngsters who produce, direct, build the scenery, make the costumes and generally run the Club for the youngsters to perform. The leaders rarely perform in a play and this is only in exceptional circumstances such as a last minute illness. All the leaders have been police checked and have attended child protection courses.
If there is a play to be performed, the leader(s) acting as director for that play will take the students through the rehearsal. If there is no play being rehearsed, then the students will be taken through a workshop to improve their skills. The workshops vary from voice projection to make-up to improvisation. There are occasions when there are a number of plays being performed, because it is difficult to find a play to accommodate up to 40 or 50 parts. If there are a number of plays being rehearsed, each director will use a separate area of the Commemoration Hall for the rehearsal and share the stage by mutual consent with the other directors. Often these plays will be one-act plays and will be performed for friends and family members on one or more nights. Recently some of the members have written and directed their own plays, which have had public performances.