Kerry’s Youth Theatres – Together for Cruinniú na nÓg 2023

Dingle Youth Theatre gathers its membership from across its peninsula. Photograph: Manuela Dei Grandi

Kerry’s four youth theatres merge for a day of open drama and performance for the public to enjoy. Facilitated by John Doran and Aoife Spratt for Kerry Local Creative Youth Partnership

Kerry Local Creative Youth Partnership (LCYP) at Kerry Education Training Board (ETB) has announced a unique event as part of Cruinniú na nÓg the national day of child and youth creativity in Ireland. Taking place on Saturday June 10th at the Dúchas Comhaltas Centre at MTU Tralee, all of Kerry’s Youth Theatres are coming together for a day of workshops and short performances.

Open to Teenagers Countywide

Not for profit Youth Theatre in Kerry is developed as a co-funded collaboration between Kerry LCYP at Kerry ETB and the Arts Office at Kerry County Council. Funding is provided through the Department of Education, Creative Ireland, Kerry County Council and The Arts Council. Significant development work has been done at local level to develop community-based support to youth theatres which provide opportunities for teenagers to access drama and youth theatre near where their live.

Creating Youth Access

Local partners include IRD Centre Waterville; St. John’s Theatre and Arts Centre, Listowel; Áiseanna na hÓige, Dingle; Kerry Diocesan Youth Service; Inspired and Saint John of God, at MTU, Tralee.

“The strategy has always been about creating access to youth theatre for young people no matter where they live in the county, that a youth theatre will exist within 45-minute drive from home,” said Deirdre Enright, Creative Youth Co-Ordinator with Kerry ETB who manages the LCYP Programme.

Members from Centre Hinterlands

To date, three youth theatres have been established, with another in development in Tralee as a research project into youth theatre and additional needs.

Dingle Youth Theatre takes membership from across the Dingle peninsula and was established in 2021. South Kerry Youth Theatre was set-up in 2020 and has members from the Iveragh Peninsula and Caherciveen.

The Youth Theatre for the North Kerry area is called Shout Out and works from St. John’s Theatre and Arts Centre in Listowel.

Youth Theatre Grant Scheme

The support offered to Youth Theatres is underpinned by an ETB Youth Theatre Grant Scheme which is announced annually. It allows for administrative and management support to youth theatres, alongside fees for drama facilitation, and production costs. The entire initiative is supported nationally through the development work of Youth Theatre Ireland.

“Coming to Youth Theatre is great fun for me, acting has always interested me…seeing what everything is like behind the scenes, the passion put in to every project, it’s amazing”, stated Cian McCarthy, a  member of Shout Out Youth Theatre in Listowel, who travels from Milltown to Listowel weekly to participate.

Workshops and Facilitators 

As the county’s Youth Theatre groups gather on June 10th, the general public are welcome to pop in to see the action live at the Dúchas Centre at MTU in Tralee.

Workshop sessions with guest facilitators John Doran and Aoife Spratt, run from 10.30am to 1.30pm, a chance for the visiting public to sit back and watch these sessions as they are underway. John and Aoife are professional actors who have both worked at The Abbey and Gate Theatres, and with Lionsgate, Hallmark and RTE.

First of its Kind in Kerry

“It is the first event of its kind for Kerry and the first time the entire youth theatre membership from across the county will meet, see each other perform, and enjoy time together in a structured theatre environment”, said Kate Kennelly, Arts Officer and Creative Ireland Kerry Co-ordinator at Kerry County Council.

Kerry’s Youth Theatres Together for One Day will make for some great watching, so do check it out on Cruinniú na nÓg on Saturday June 10th.  It is highlighted on social media via @kerrylcyp and @kerrycoarts and on

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