What is the BUZZ Network?
Leading arts organisations from Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Belgium and Germany have been awarded funding from the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union to cross-pollinate youth theatre practice across the continent for the first time.
Called the BUZZ Network, the organisations have joined forces to share knowledge, skills, contacts and resources across seas and borders, establishing a new network for collaboration and development.
All partners are leaders in the development of Youth Theatre in their own country. National development organisations Youth Theatre Arts Scotland and Youth Theatre Ireland will work alongside prominent theatres Rogaland Teater from Norway, Theater Bremen in Germany, and BRONKS from Belgium to advance practice in their region and across Europe.
During the project, the BUZZ Network will deliver multinational training events for youth theatre practitioners, engaging over 100 professionals from around twenty European countries.
Alongside training, the BUZZ Network will undertake the first mapping research of youth theatre across Europe, to identify leading venues and practice. It will also create a new web portal to increase awareness of cross-border opportunities for over 28,500 European youth theatre participants and professionals.
Artists’ Lab One: BRONKS
In April 2022, after being postponed for two years, ten youth theatre artists from Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, England and the Netherlands finally joined together in person for the first BUZZ Artists’ Lab, exploring the theme of Co-creation and Empowering Young People.
Hosted by BRONKS, and facilitated by lead artist Simon D’huyvetter, participants undertook a packed week of workshops and discussions, sharing in each other’s practice as well as gaining an insight into the vibrant youth arts sector in Flanders, with visits to arts organisations and performances across Brussels, Ghent and Brugge.
Artists’ Lab Two: Theater Bremen
The second Artists’ Training Lab was held at Theater Bremen in Germany from 14 – 19 October 2022 and explored the theme of Form and Aesthetics of Co-creative Work with Young People. Sixteen artists attended the Lab, from Germany, Scotland, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Ukraine, England and Czechia.
Hosted by Theater Bremen Junge Akteur*innen, this multinational training lab allowed artists to explore what it means to evolve and challenge their artistic practice in a youth theatre context. The group undertook intensive workshops with researchers Theater X, choreographer Birgit Freitag, and director Joanna Praml, as well as collaborating with one another to share, learn and connect.
Artists’ Lab Three: Rogaland Theater
The third Artists’ Training Lab was held at Rogaland Theater in Stavanger, Norway, from 6 – 10 March 2023. The five-day programme offered professional youth theatre artists the chance to explore the theme of Dramaturgical Approaches to Youth Theatre. Twenty-one artists attended the Lab, from Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Belgium, Austria, England, Greece, The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Romania, Sweden, Spain, and Ukraine.
Rogaland Teater’s Children and Youth Theatre Department hosted and led our participants in a series of activities exploring how Dramaturgy can be used within a youth theatre context. Participants watched performances both by the youth and the adult theatre, and met the people behind the performances. Participants also took part in workshops, debates and presentations in peer-to-peer groups, and got the chance to workshop their own ideas for performances.
Artists’ Lab 4: Impact Arts, Glasgow
For the final BUZZ Artists’ Lab, nineteen artists from across Europe gathered in Impact Arts in Glasgow, Scotland. Hosted by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland (YTAS) the five-day programme from Monday 12 – Friday 16 June 2023 invited artists to explore the theme of Diverse Voices in Youth Theatre. Artists shared and explored creative approaches to engaging with disability, ethnic diversity, sexuality, gender, and socioeconomic deprivation within youth theatre arts contexts.
Alongside lead artist Ivor McAskill and a range of companies including Birds of Paradise Theatre Company, Solar Bear’s Deaf Youth Theatre, Ignite Theatre, Impact Arts, and Sanctuary Queer Arts the lab interrogated what a diverse and inclusive approach brings to youth theatre, and what is required for it to be implemented and sustained.
BUZZ Network Launch: October 2021
In October 2021 we hosted a series of online events to launch the BUZZ Network. Featuring discussions, networking workshops, and performance screenings, we welcomed youth theatre artists and leaders from across Europe to meet, share and cross-pollinate their practice.
These events are available to watch on-demand at our Vi.to Hub, which you can find on the BUZZ Network website below.