Sat 6 Jul 2024: 10:30AM
Youth Theatre Arts Scotland

Regional Hub: Ayr

Venue: The Cutty-Sark Centre, 40 High St, Ayr, KA7 1QW
Prices: YTAS Members £10 per day or £15 for the full event | Non-Members £30 per day or £50 for the full event

Thought NFYT was just for campers? Think again!

Dumfries Hub Swap Shop Games Exchange Sun 5 Nov 2023 © Andy Catlin 0382 1

This year’s National Festival of Youth Theatre will also include a regional hub: a multi-day training event complete with workshops, networking activities and tickets to festival performances.

The aims of the regional hubs are to: upskill artists; share practice on specific creative areas; create stronger working relationships within regional youth theatre networks; support emerging youth theatre artists; identify future partnerships and projects; and help to shape YTAS’s programming.

Join us at the Cutty Sark in Ayr from Saturday 6 – Sunday 7 July 2024 for workshops, networking and lots of lively discussion!

Practitioners attending our Ayr Hub may choose to join for all workshops and performances across two days or for all workshops and performances on only one of the days. The choice is yours. Take a look at our full agenda and ticketing section below for more information.

What’s On: Saturday 6 July 2024

Our first workshop of the weekend will be led by Georgia Nelson and Annie Lowry Thomas with support from Scottish Youth Theatre to investigate AI in the Creative Process. How can new technology be used as a tool to unlock creativity? In this workshop you will challenge AI’s playwrighting abilities in your work with young actors and explore the use of technology as an integral tool in a process. You will play with new methodologies practically while discussing with peers how this might apply to your own setting.

Hub attendees are invited to join the audience of the National Festival of Youth Theatre for the lunchtime performance of Body Snatchers by Centre Stange Dance Theatre from Kilmarnock, Scotland. Tickets to the lunchtime shows will be included in your booking.

The afternoon workshop Queer Methodologies in Youth Theatre will be led by Ella McCarthy. In celebration of the brilliant role the youth theatre can play in the development of identity and self-belief, this workshop will explore methods of creating work with young people from a queer perspective while also examining youth theatre’s role in building inclusive spaces. For further explanation about what we mean when we use the word ‘Queer’ as associated with theatre practice, check out this helpful history compiled by Stratford East Theatre: Here and Queer: A Brief History Lesson in Queer Theatre (

Everyone who attends Saturday is invited to join the NFYT evening performances (Purple by John Fosse translated by David Harrower and performed by Follies Barne og Ungdomsteater / Children and Young People Theatre; followed by Acts of Resilience, created and performed by young people from Firefly Arts, 1812Youth Theatre and BRONKS).

What’s On: Sunday 7 July 2024

Sunday morning begins with a creative workshop investigating and creating Shadow Puppetry with artist and theatre maker Daniel Livingston. Shadow puppetry is an ancient storytelling tool used to tell great stories. In this workshop we will explore this theatrical tool using shadows and light, creating new ways to tell shadow stories. During this workshop you will create shadow puppets but also look at what shadow stories could be.

Hub attendees are invited to join the audience of the National Festival of Youth Theatre for the lunchtime performance of The Playground Protests by Theatre Alliance from Kilmarnock, Scotland. Tickets to the lunchtime shows will be included in your booking.

We’ll round off our second day with a YTAS favourite… everyone loves a Games Exchange! We all know that the games we use to start our workshops are integral to our practice, but it’s so easy to get stuck delivering the same ones over and over again. Bring your favourite warm-up game, and come away with a list of new activities learned from others, a refresh on the games you’ve forgotten, or maybe even some twists on the classics.


Day One: Saturday 6 July

  • 10.30am: Arrivals, tea and coffee
  • 11am: Welcome from YTAS
  • 11.30am: AI in the creative process (Workshop led by Georgia Nelson and Annie Lowry Scottish Youth Theatre)
  • 1pm: Lunch
  • 2.15pm: Performance at the Ayr Gaiety
  • 3.30pm: Queer Methodologies in Youth Theatre (Workshop led by Ella McCarthy)
  • 5pm: Finish
  • 7.15pm: Optional evening performance at the Ayr Gaiety

Day Two: Sunday 7 July

  • 10am: Arrivals and coffee
  • 10.30am: Shadow Puppetry (Workshop led by Daniel Livingston)
  • 12.15pm: Performance at Ayr Gaiety
  • 1.30pm: Lunch
  • 3.30pm: Games Exchange (Workshop led by YTAS)
  • 5pm: Finish

Who is it for?

The event is for everyone who uses drama and theatre in their work with young people. This could include youth theatre leaders, drama teachers, youth workers, community learning professionals, theatre practitioners, students, and emerging young leaders (aged 16+).

Membership Support Coordinator

Looking for business support with a project or your organisation? Why not take this opportunity to catch up with YTAS’ Membership Support Coordinator, Anthony, to talk about the important work outside of your creative practice.

Anthony will be able to take you through YTAS’s MOT checklist for organisations and introduce you to our support portal which covers topics such as safeguarding, governance, policies, business development and fundraising.

Anthony will be available throughout the events on Saturday and Sunday so don’t be afraid to say hello and share any questions.

Ticketing info

Practitioners attending our Ayr Hub may choose to join for all workshop and performances events across two days, for all workshops and performances on one of the days, or just for the workshop parts. The choice is yours.

The ticket options are as follows…

  • YTAS Members: £10 per day or £15 for the full event
  • Non-Members: £30 per day or £50 for the full event

When you go through to book, you’ll have the option to chose which day you’d like, or to book for the full weekend.

We’ve tried to keep costs as low as possible to enable more practitioners to attend, so we won’t be providing catering during the event, other than refreshments.


Thanks to funding from Creative Scotland, the Gannochy Trust, the Macrobert Trust, the Foyle Foundation, the People’s Postcode Trust, the Stafford Trust, the Hugh Fraser Foundation and the JTH Charitable Trust, we are delighted to be able to offer bursary places to attend our Regional Hubs. 

Bursaries are available to any YTAS Member, who requires financial support in order to attend a Regional Hub event, and will cover any fees and/or expenses associated with the training. You are welcome to submit an application for multiple sessions at a time.

Read more and apply here.

YTAS Membership

Our membership is made up of independent youth theatres, arts organisations with their own youth theatre provision, volunteer-run charities, freelance practitioners of youth theatre arts, and many more. If you’re interested in joining a national network of like-minded people, be sure to read more at our membership page.

This event is a safe space and all identities are welcome

All YTAS events and spaces, in-person or digital, are safe spaces where all identities are welcome. We have a zero-tolerance policy to bullying, which applies across all our services, events, and communications channels. This includes but is not limited to: transphobia, homo or biphobia, racism, ableism, sexism, or class discrimination.


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