We wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who attended #Interchange2022 at Perth Theatre this past weekend. It was wonderful to be back in the room with all of your joyful energy, and we hope you found it rewarding. We can’t wait to see what interesting collaboration projects you all come up with across the sector on the back of our weekend networking together in beautiful Perthshire!
Those who attended the ‘Rev Up Your Research’ session on the Saturday, or were there for Kenny’s closing words on Sunday, will have heard all about our next networking challenge… and no, it’s not another game of bingo!
For everyone else, we’re excited to tell you all about some research we’re undertaking in an attempt to prove what we all anecdotally know to be true: that youth theatre changes lives.
How will we find this out?
Next week we’ll be launching a survey, which forms the first stage of a research collaboration between Youth Theatre Arts Scotland (YTAS) and the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities (SGSAH). Drawing upon YTAS’s established national network, the research aims to evidence the long-term impact of participation in youth theatre.
We want to paint a picture of the long-term impact youth theatre has on participants’ lives, careers, health, and wellbeing over the past 20 years, into adulthood. We already know that youth theatre produces great performers and youth arts leaders. We’d also like to know whether participating in it as a young person makes for better teachers, lawyers, CEOs, zookeepers, doctors, and so on…! We are particularly interested in hearing stories from those who have gone on to sectors unrelated to the performing arts.
How can the sector help?
This is where we need the help of our network, and all the networking you do in your own lives. YTAS can’t just cold-email people who were involved in youth drama several decades ago. But as social animals, we (as a sector) probably all keep in touch with some of these people…
Do you still see people from your youth theatre, back in the day? Do you have them on Facebook or other social networks, or know people who might? Can you spread the reach of our survey by getting it into inboxes of people who’d make good interview subjects?
How will the outcomes of the research be used?
As the first research stage, the survey we’ll be launching next week aims to identity potential subjects for depth interviews. It will also provide our researcher, Ellie, with a wider data set in which to situate these case studies.
We’ll communicate the findings of these case studies to key policymakers, funders, and network members. It is our hope that they will help to shape future planning and delivery in the youth theatre sector.
So, please think of this as your research. We’d all find those long-term impact statistics helpful for funding applications and sparking ideas for future projects. Please help us to prove that youth theatre dramatically transforms lives.