In an exciting first for Wales, Taking Flight Theatre Company have announced that thanks to support from BBC Children in Need, the Ashley Family Foundation and Wales Millennium Centre, they have opened the first youth theatre in Wales specifically catering for D/deaf and hard of hearing young people.
The project has been developed in response to feedback from young people who had seen Taking Flight’s professional theatre work. With its emphasis on being inclusive both in regards to casting and audience experience, people frequently asked the company if there was any way that they could start a youth theatre to nurture young D/deaf and hard of hearing talent. In 2015 Taking Flight ran two Deaf-led summer schools and the feedback was that 100% of participants wanted to be able to attend a youth theatre regularly.
In January 2018, the company ran taster sessions at WMC which drew children from Carmarthen, Aberystwyth and Machynlleth. Again, 100% of children and families wanted ongoing provision. As a result of this enthusiasm, Elise Davison and Beth House, who started Taking Flight in 2008, decided to apply to BBC Children In Need to see if they could attract funding to create something really special.
Taking Flight make bold, unusual theatre productions that place D/deaf and disabled performers centre stage. Their work tours Wales and beyond and they often find themselves in geographically isolated or rural places, performing in woodlands, castle grounds, community centres or shopping arcades as well as traditional theatre venues & schools.
The youth theatre launch comes at a very busy time for the company, who have completed two successful tours of England with their critically acclaimed productions peeling and You’ve Got Dragons as well as expanding their work in the area of Access Consultancy.
Taking Flight Youth Theatre sessions are held at Wales Millennium Centre on Saturdays during term time. To book a place with Taking Flight Youth Theatre, or for further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the company, please visit www.takingflighttheatre.org.uk