TakeOver Festival 2015



Young people to take over National Railway Museum in annual York Theatre Royal festival

York Theatre Royal launched the first TakeOver Festival in the country in 2009. An annual festival run entirely by 12-26 year olds who, with support from York Theatre Royal staff, plan, program and present a festival of theatre and events. In the last 6 years over 700 young people have been involved in running 5 successful festivals.

It is an ambitious project but this year there were fears it would not be possible due to the theatre’s closure for its £4.1million redevelopment. The theatre has announced however that the ground-breaking festival – which inspired many others around the country and in Europe – will now take place thanks to help from the National Railway Museum and yet another innovative idea.

The first part of the festival will be at the end of October over half-term week with a further week in the newly developed York Theatre Royal studio and auditorium spaces in the spring.

Volunteers aged under 26 are now being sought and will be provided with the opportunity to shadow and receive mentoring from almost every role within the organisation, including senior management. The deadline for all applications is June 5th with a team being put in place shortly afterwards. Like the theatre itself, the festival is directed by a board of directors. The board is also made up of young people aged under 26.

Creative Skills Promoter Paula Clark who co-ordinates those involved said

This is a new and exciting challenge for the TakeOver Festival but, as has always been my experience of the young people we have had work on the festival over the years, the board are not the slightest bit phased and are full of energy and ideas. My job is to make sure all the young people involved get a truly meaningful experience from working as part of the festival, and this year will be no exception.

Half term workshops run by Phoenix Dance at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Chapeltown, Leeds.
Half term workshops run by Phoenix Dance at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Chapeltown, Leeds.

Last year, highlights of the festival included the award-winning LipService who presented the Picture of Doreen Gray, with a choir put together of local volunteers, while Actors of Dionysus delighted everyone with extraordinary aerial skills in Helen, a new take on the famous Queen of Troy. Phoenix Dance Theatre brought a triple bill of stunning contemporary dance to the stage. All were programmed, marketed and run by young people volunteering.

FOH Teams at TakeOver 2014 with a puppet from a showIf you’re aged under 26 and would like to get involved then please visit yorktheatreroyal.co.uk or email [email protected] Senior Management positions are available to over 18s only but all other positions are available to anyone. No previous experience is necessary so whether people are already involved in theatre or music, or want to try something new they are encouraged to get in touch.