National Festival of Youth Theatres 2018

The National Festival of Youth Theatres is an annual event for Irish youth theatres and is organised by Youth Theatre Ireland. This year, thirteen youth theatres from all over the country will take part. Each youth theatre group can bring up to eight members. This year the festival is taking place from 4th - 8th July in Kilkenny. Participants will spend their days in workshops exploring different aspects of drama and developing new skills. Social activities will be organised for each evening. It is a great opportunity for youth theatre members to meet like-minded young people from other groups all over the country. The emphasis is on enjoyment and learning.

The venue for the festival is Kilkenny College. Accommodation is in the form of small dorm rooms. Males and females will be in separate dorms. Leaders will be situated close by for supervisory purposes. All meals will be provided and served on site and all the activities will take place in the College. Although a busy schedule is programmed, there will be one day when the group will have some free time to go into Kilkenny City. All youth theatre groups must be supervised by their leaders during this time.


There is no cost for young people to take part in the festival workshops and Youth Theatre Ireland cover the cost of food and accommodation. However a cost of €100 applies to those travelling to cover the cost of tansport to and from Kilkenny and additional staff costs for the festival. Nonetheless we want to ensure that there are no restrictions to any young person availing of this opportunity, so if you have difficulty with payment, please contact your youth theatre leader.

Youth Theatre Ireland will be bringing a professional theatre production to the Festival and will have a Festival T-shirt for each participant. The combined cost of the T-shirt and attending the theatre performance is €10 per participant. Youth Theatre Ireland will cover the cost for anyone who has difficulty paying this. If this is the case, please talk to your son/daughter's youth theatre leader and they can let Youth Theatre Ireland know.

What members need to bring:

  1. Loose comfortable clothing for workshops
  2. At least one towel. All bedding is provided
  3. A plate and mug if they like tea/toast in the evening.
  4. Although most activities are indoors, it is wise to be prepared for both good and bad weather. So, raingear or an umbrella and also sun cream!
  5. There will not to be too many opportunities to spend money but there is a shop near the venue and as stated already there will be an opportunity for the groups to travel into Kilkenny City.
  6. We would discourage participants from bringing valuables. There are lockers beside nearly all the beds in the dorms. If participants want to make these secure, they must bring their own lock and key.

What we ask from parents:

  1. We ask that you facilitate your son/daughter's full participation in the festival. To get the full benefit of the programme, it is important that they attend for the full duration.
  2. If they are aged under 18, please complete the Parental Consent Form which you can download below or which may be provided to you by your youth theatre director. It will contain all relevant information relating to your son/daughter i.e. any medical requirements or details of any condition that may affect their participation in the festival so we can ensure that they are fully supported and have the best possible experience at the Festival. As a result of the new GDPR regulation, you must also provide the youth theatre with consent to use your son/daughter's personal data for the purposes stated on the Parental Consent Form.
  3. Please ensure that your son/daughter has an adequate supply of any medication they need.
  4. We also ask that you give both the youth theatre and YOUTH THEATRE IRELAND permission to use images/video footage. We will use these images for promoting the festival and for archival purposes and manage them in line with our Use of Images Policy.

About Youth Theatre Ireland

Youth Theatre Ireland is the national development organisation for youth theatre. They support a network of youth theatres who deliver year-round programmes of drama workshops and performance opportunities to young people aged 12 - 21 from cities, towns and villages across Ireland. Established since 1980, Youth Theatre Ireland is unique in its commitment to youth-centered drama practice. At Youth Theatre Ireland, they know that youth theatre is a place to develop young artists and young citizens and we promote youth drama opportunities that focus on the artistic, personal and social development of young people.


The number of young people who can attend the festival is strictly limited to eight members. So if you are interested in attending the festival, contact your youth theatre leader as soon as possible. A deposit of €50 and a signed Parental Consent form will be required to be provided to your Youth Theatre Leader to secure your place.Please make all cheques out to Leitrim County Council.

Download Parental Consent Form


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  • EU European Regional Development Fund