Itchy, Scratchy, Summer Nights!

Chickenshed Young Company is always looking for ways to expand creatively and to introduce new young people to our projects and unique way of working. This summer we have three brilliant workshops for 11-17 year olds (the Youth Theatre age group of our Young Company) to take part in.

The Weekend Itch first started in 2016 with a view to attract potential new members and give people a flavour of what it’s like to be part of Chickenshed’s Youth Theatre. In 2016 we were still in the process of defining the Chickenshed Young Company philosophy and the first ever The Weekend Itch was significant in helping us to do this. Young Company Directors encouraged existing members to bring some friends along to the workshop and then challenged them to help the directors run it. This has been the theme of The Weekend Itch ever since – young people who have an established stake in the company leading and supporting new young people in exploring theatre-making at Chickenshed.

This youth-guided methodology was further explored in The Summer Scratch that was also launched in 2016. The aim of The Summer Scratch is to build on the thoughts and ideas that arise from The Weekend Itch. Some of these ideas evolve into more concrete concepts and by the end of the week, creative and personal relationships are formed, inspiring work is produced and first-time participants go on to become fully-fledged Young Company members. What is created during The Summer Scratch is even further developed in the autumn, and this culminates into full-length Young Company productions with past productions including (L)able, More and Raft. This year Chickenshed Young Company presents Feel the Love, a show that re-imagines the world of love, loss, hope and heartbreak.

New this year is Summer Nights. Set up for those not quite old enough for The Summer Scratch but who may feel way too old for Summer Shed, these one-off evening workshops will be exploring an adventurous style of theatre-making through movement, physical theatre and vocal work and ideas developed during this week may well make their way into the Summer Scratch.

What we know for sure, is that starting with The Weekend Itch on Saturday 15 June and continuing into July and August with Summer Nights and the Summer Scratch, new members, discussions and thoughts will be keeping Chickenshed Young Company’s work fresh and forward-thinking as we move into the autumn.