In Drama for Youth Work three partners from Austria, Ireland and Spain have come together to work both at a local and at a European level in order to bring together their expertise and to innovate at an international dimension.
Asociación Juvenil Teatral ON&OFF
Logroño, La Rioja (Spain)
In the year 2000 the youth association ON&OFF was created in Logroño as a non-profit organisation to join together all the ex-students and current students of a local theater school: Teatro Dinámica. The main aim of ON&OFF is to promote cultural and artistic initiatives, with a lack of political, religious or favourable intentions, and always trying to create an intercultural framework for the participation, understanding and inclusion of all its members, the society of Logroño and the youth in general.
According to this the main aims of the organisation are:
- To join together those young people interested on the theater and drama using learning groups, experimentation and staging
- To organize cultural and leisure time activities for youth
- To take part on participative events such as meetings, exchanges, contests, etc. at local, national or international level
- To cooperate with local entities and administrations on the implementation of theater spectacles at local, national or international level
- To carry out training courses, workshops and activities for educating children, youth and adults (intergenerational projects)
- Any other activity related to the promotion of the participation of children and youth on the theatre and training field.
Furthermore, the non-formal and drama methodologies used regularly by the entity, make all its acitivities accesible and suitable for any kind of users, promoting the participation of young people with fewer opportunities and especially of those with mobility, expression and/or communication difficulties.
BiondekBühne is one of the largest youth theatre organisations in Europe and by far the largest in Austria. We aim to holistically promote the individual development of all people through the performing arts so they can act reflectively, empathetically and responsibly. As a focal point of an international network, we regularly offer all members possibilities for international exchange. Throughout the first ten years of its existing, BiondekBühne developed to what it is today: a stage for the curious. From just 60 members, the organisation has grown to more than 500 kids and young people in several acting, dance and music groups who develop all sorts of performances.
Each year BiondekBühne continues to grow, and during this period of rapid growth we began to leave the Austrian borders behind. Our network includes more than 70 youth theatre organisations in over 30 countries. Our members travel abroad on a regular basis to work on art projects with our partners and we also invite guests to do the same with us here in Austria. The creative group processes are guided by professional art pedagogues. For each and every part needed in daily theatre life we have plenty of helping hands who assist us voluntarily with make-up, costume, marketing, catering and much more. Additionally, we have a professional team for light and sounds. Everyone is involved wholeheartedly: arts education as a passion! At BiondekBühne small groups develop performances throughout the year, which are then presented on stage. All children and young people are encouraged to choose their own topics or combine their own ideas with suggested topics. By applying improvisation methods playfully and experimenting in workshop orientated modes of working, expression is explored in a way which meets the high standards of aesthetics and results in a stage performance which has been made by the children and young people themselves and therefore is unique. This way children and young people get to know their creative, communicative and performative potential. This does not only improve their self confidence but also strengthens their personality in
Crooked House – Theatre
Newbridge , Co.Kildare (Ireland)
Crooked House has organized youth exchanges since 2003, Youth Initiatives since 2004, and Erasmus+ Training Programmes since 2014. We have hosted many exchanges, festivals and seminars, based in Newbridge. We have sent members of our youth project on a number of youth exchanges and encounters over the years. At this stage, we are aware and can be prepared for most practical issues that arise in both hosting and sending young people on international projects.
We continue to learn, particularly about new methods of working with young people, and also about structuring longer projects. We have built a wide but focused network of partners in Europe, most of whom work with young people in creative contexts (like theatre, or music). Our exchanges and festivalls strenghten this network each year, and we like to add at least two new organisations to the network every year. We work outide of Erasmus+ as well, taking part in training opportunities offered by the network; and giving training in specialised arteas of youth work to our network organisations.
The network is informal, but we would like to explore ways to make it more structured. We have pioneered in Ireland the use of theatre of the oppressed methods of groupwork in the field of Youth & Community Work, using both artists and youth workers to develop projects with young people. We specialise in theatre work about gender, power, social justice issues, and mental health. All of our projects try to find innovative and creative ways to explore these issues. Our philosophical positions are influenced by the work of theorists like Paulo Freire, Augusto Boal, Germaine Greer, Pierre Bourdieu, and second-wave feminism. Our aesthetic view is shaped by the work of William Shakespeare.