Byron Youth Theatre (BYT) are about to deliver an action-packed performance piece, with scooters and skateboards on stage. Titled My Path & Yours, the show will be performed to Year 7s at all local high schools and to community members in the last week of May.
2013 is BYT’s third year of successful operation. The company now has 22 members, with 11 new members joining this year, who are engaged in the current project funded by NRMA Motoring and Services and supported by Byron Shire Council.
Lisa Apostolides, director of BYT, says the project explores on one level the sharing of footpaths and roads between young and older citizens and, on a deeper level, intergenerational compassionate connections. ‘It is utilising the expertise of two senior professional actors, Mike Russo (artistic director of Drill Hall) and Lani Pua Moani Sidoti,’ says Lisa. ‘Both of these artists have been attending regular Monday afternoon sessions sharing and actively exploring ideas with the youth company members leading to six scheduled performances.’
Mike says there is a definite mutual benefit by participating in this creative venture. ‘It’s fun and rewarding. It’s been great working with these young people and it would be wonderful if more older people recognised that they were young once too,’ says Lani.
The process of the project is exemplifying the fact that young and older citizens can have fun together by engaging in activities where they share a common interest
The younger members have gained insight into creatively devising a theatre piece as well as performance technique and acting skills. ‘We’re learning a lot from Lani and Mike and it’s great to see how quickly we can all get great scenes together,’ says student Alyssa Garnett.
Senior citizen groups are being invited to attend the performances and Lisa hopes there will be some lively discussions afterwards between both generations and the theatre company members.
Byron Youth Theatre exists entirely on grants, which enables Lisa to provide classes free of charge. ‘We wish to express our gratitude to NRMA Motoring and Services, Byron Shire Council and Northern Rivers Community Foundation, who have supported two other projects; also to Byron Youth Service, who auspice us,’ she said. ‘We are a not-for-profit organisation, and to continue we invite community and businesses to please support us with more funding!’
Any community members wishing to attend the My Path & Yours project performances please contact Lisa Apostolides through Byron Youth Service on 6685 7777.