Since its foundation in 1977, by Educational Psychologist Paddy O’ Dwyer, Dublin Youth Theatre has forged a unique contribution to the worlds of theatre and youth work. Four decades later, DYT continues to provide exciting opportunities for young people in the 14 – 22 age group to gain experience in drama, theatre and the related arts.

Writers & theatre makers such as Peter Sheridan, Anne Enright, Gerard Stembridge, Paul Mercier, Lee Dunne, Mark O’Rowe, Charlie McCarthy, Art O’Briain, Desperate Optimists & Brokentalkers have been commissioned by DYT in the past, with many of the productions being performed at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin.

 

 

 

1977

DYT founded by Paddy O’Dwyer with a grand total of 8 members.

1978

DYT membership rises drastically to accommodate over one hundred auditioners.

1979

DYT acquires use of the Marian Boys Club premises at 23 Upper Gardiner St.

 

1980

DYT represents Ireland at the International Youth Theatre Festival in Vienna in June 1980.

1981

This year marked the beginning of the Members’ One Acts Festival when four one act plays were produced entirely by DYT members.

1982

DYT, in conjunction with the Health Education Bureau and Department of Education makes a series of “trigger” videos for use in schools.

1984

In 1984, funding from the Arts Council enabled DYT to appoint Gaye Tanham as its first full-time administrator.

DYT was invited to participate in the Dublin Street Carnival in September 1984.

1985

DYT was invited to participate in the official programme of the Dublin Theatre Festival, with its first play to be produced in the DYT premises.

1986

DYT was selected to represent Ireland in a Channel 4 series It’s Our World which looked at young people all over the world and was televised early in 1987.

1987

To celebrate its 10th anniversary in 1987, DYT set up a junior wing for the first time to cater for 12-14 year olds.

An original script written by a DYT member was included for the first time in the annual Members’ One Acts Festival.

1989

August 1989 saw the birth of the Hardwicke Street Project, DYT’s first community project for children of the local area.

Madeline Boughton starts as DYT’s Administrator.

1990

DYT received grant-aid from the National Lottery and with assistance from the Arts Council of Ireland is able to purchase the premises at 23 Upper Gardiner St.

Emer McGowan becomes DYT’s administrator.

1992

Three Cities Youth Theatre Exchange Project – a tri-lateral exchange between DYT, Ulster Youth Theatre and Contact Youth Theatre.  The final piece was performed in Derry, Dublin and Manchester.

Claochlo, the Irish Language Group was formed.

1993

Under the direction of John White, Elbows Off! is devised by DYT members to be performed at the National Festival of Youth Theatres in Kilkenny.  This piece was so successful that it was revived twice – in the Project Arts Centre (1993) and at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast (1995) as a showcase piece in the BT National Connections Festival.

1994

DYT members participated in Babel 2000, a youth theatre festival in Belgium, which was funded by the Cultural Affairs Committee in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

1995

DYT are asked to resurrect a piece formerly devised with Belfast’s Rainbow Factory and to perform it at the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation at Dublin Castle as an example of a successful cross-border initiative involving young people.

Gerard Stembridge comes on board as DYT’s first voluntary Artisitic Director.

Valerie Bistany becomes DYT’s Administrator.

1996

DYT’s performance of Roger Gregg’s Spinning Wheels, a poetic dance movement play is later invited to ARENA Festival, an experimental theatre festival in Erlangen, Germany.

Under the direction of Marieva Coughlan, DYT members devise a piece for Substance Misuse Prevention Education International Conference organised by the Department of Education in Dublin Castle.

1997

DYT’s twentieth anniversary year.  We celebrated by putting on two Project shows and having a massive party in the Temple Theatre for all DYT members and friends through the ages.

1998

A two year evaluation of the organisational structures of DYT came to an end.  The Articles of Association were amended to enable a democratic election of the Board members, and received approval by the Charities Office.

1999

On January 17th, 1999, DYT held its first democratic elections of the Board, voted on by the Company Members, 75% of whom were in attendance at the most important AGM in DYT’s history.  13 board members were elected, and Paddy O’Dwyer retired from the Board after 21 years of active involement in the youth theatre he had founded.  Veronica Coburn, an ex-DYT member and Board member of long-standing experience is elected as the new Chair.

DYT is invited as the Irish representatives to take part in MIX 2000, an international youth festival to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the hosting town, Oldenzaal, in Holland.

The role of Administrator is changed to General Manager.

2000

A collaboration between Desperate Optimists (Christine Molloy & Joe Lawlor) and DYT over a period of approximately six months leading to a devised, multimedia performance , site-specifically designed to be performed in the newly built Project Arts Centre.

DYT participates in Yeehar!, a youth drama festival organized by the Ulster Association of Youth Drama in the Waterfront Theatre, Belfast.

2001

DYT commences its participation in a quadrilateral exchange with youth theatres from Denmark, Shetland Islands and Germany.  Ten young people and three adult leaders travel to Copenhagen in July for a week of devising workshops which culminate in a public performance given by the young people of the four different countries.

Maria Schwepp starts as DYT’s Acting General Manager.

2002

In February, DYT hosted the second part of the exchange.  The groups from Denmark, Germany and Shetland Islands come to Dublin and work together with the Irish contingent to produce another site-specific performance, this time in Werburgh Street Church.

In April 2002 DYT embarked on a script development programme.  From 10 submissions, 4 ideas for plays were selected to be developed under the mentorship of Irma Grothuis eventually leading to a script being chosen and performed in the Project.  Three scripts were brought to a first draft and given rehearsed readings with ex-DYT’ers under the directorship of Raymond Keane in the Cobalt Cafe in August 2002.  A number of people were invited to come along and give feedback.  Second drafts were produced and the play selected to be performed in the Project was Aoife Courtney’s Some Kind of Beautiful.

In July  DYT travels on a 14 hour ferry crossing to take part in the third part of the exchange along with Germany & Denmark in the Shetland Islands.

2003

Mojisola Adebayo is appointed Artistic Director.

Young Social Innovators (a Department of Education run innovation) invites DYT to perform at the Young Social Innovators conference.

Mojisola Adebayo devises a piece in collaboration with Calypso’s Tower of Babel (a group of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum) for performance at the Conference to 400 Transition Year students in May.

In July 11 members and two leaders travel to Berlin to participate in the final leg of the quadrilateral exchange.  Approximately 50 young people perform interactive pieces on the S-Bahn as the final performance.

Also in July DYT partake in the National Association for Youth Drama’s National Festival of Youth Theatres, ‘Bards in the Yard’.

DYT is commissioned by St. Patrick’s Festival to produce a piece for the Dun Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures.

2004

Sarah Fitzgibbon is appointed Artistic Director.

2006

Dublin Youth Theatre travels to Sostanj in Slovenia to take part in Re-Act, a ten day European exchange programme with youth groups / theatres from Slovenia, Sweden, Belgium, Catalonia and Scotland.

2007

Willie White becomes DYT’s Artistic Director.

2008

First participated in the Dublin Fringe Festival with the production of the 2008 MOAF

2009

DYT attends the Youth Theatre Festival in Vienna.

2010

Gary Keegan becomes the new Artistic Director .

DYT won the Better Together Award: Charities, clubs and associations were asked to submit a short Youtube video in which they would show what their organisation did, the benefits of working together, and how to get involved. More than 200 organisations submitted videos to the campaign website.

Ella Daly starts as General Manager.

2013

Dave Kelly takes on the role of Artistic Director.

2017

DYT celebrated its 40th anniversary and hosted the Gala Retrospective, a collection of pieces from past productions, to celebrate, acknowledge and reflect on the previous four decades.

Sarah Bragg-Bolger starts as General Manager.