Almeida youth board established to give young people a say

Almeida Youth Board. Photo: Helen Murray

A youth board has been established by the Almeida Theatre in London, aimed at giving young people a voice in the running of the venue.

Consisting of nine members aged between 18 and 25, the youth board meets once a month and exists to “provoke, inspire and create positive change at the Almeida”, the theatre said.

It has been created by Almeida director of participation, Dani Parr, who told The Stage she had felt there was a gap in the venue’s programme.

“These young people have stuff to say about the Almeida and how it’s run at all levels – including audience development, marketing, fundraising, and our programming,” she said, adding: “We have an incredibly engaged population of young people in London at the moment. Theatres aren’t often very good at representing younger, diverse people. I wanted to hear what young people have to say.”

The board members were selected following a “rigorous” application process, including workshops and one-to-one interviews.

Parr said she felt the people chosen could all be running theatres in the future, in senior management roles.

“We have a responsibility in theatres to be thinking about how we diversify the industry and how we can encourage youth leadership, and support and train people who will be running our theatres in 10 years’ time,” she said, adding that each of the board members had a different area of interest, such as marketing, production or HR.

Board member Aaron McGregor, who is also senior marketing executive at The Stage, said the board was “further proof of the theatre’s drive to engage audiences from all backgrounds and to make the theatre feel accessible to all”.

“We’ve already met with a range of people within the Almeida, including artistic director Rupert Goold, and it’s refreshing to know that a diverse range of young people’s voices are being listened to by the leadership team at one of the UK’s leading theatres,” he said.

Matthew Hemley

Matt is news editor for The Stage, having started as the newspaper’s broadcast reporter. He covers all areas of the industry in his role, but has a particular interest in musical theatre. Matt studied acting at Bretton Hall and presents a monthly theatre news round up on BBC London Radio.

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