Rising Youth Theatre’s season is made up of original plays created through partnerships between youth, communities, and professional artists. These plays are connected thematically and based on young people’s true stories. RYT’s method for creating art with young people is outlined here:
Theme and Partnership
Rising Youth Theatre begins by joining with community organizations that serve youth and are engaged with the theme of the play/season. Partner organizations could be schools, community centers, after school programs, neighborhoods, churches, other arts organizations, social service agencies and more. The possibilities for collaboration are endless! Sometimes RYT approaches an organization with a theme in mind, and sometimes the theme emerges from a conversation with the partner organization.
RYT assembles a team of resident artists who will stay with the project from start to finish: teaching artists, a playwright, director, actors, and designers. These artists spend 4-6 weeks in residence at each partner organization. The project might have as few as one residency site, or as many as ten residency sites, depending on the size and scope of the theme and community. In the residency, youth (and adults as appropriate) share their stories through writing, acting exercises, improvisation, dialogue, music, visual arts, and poetry. Each residency culminates with an on-site performance of work created.
Playwriting, Devising, Rehearsal
At the culmination of the residency phase, the project playwright takes the material from residency and begins to write a play. RYT returns to each residency site and holds auditions for the play. Anyone who participated in the residency phase is invited to audition. Depending on the project, RYT may also hold open auditions, inviting previous cast members and new youth to join the process. Once we’ve cast the show, the cast assembles for a 2-3 week devising process, where the script is finalized. The cast includes a combination of professional actors and youth actors.
The project then enters a traditional rehearsal and production phase., RYT plays are fully produced with professional production values and performed for public audiences.