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Byteback and beyond at Burnley Youth Theatre

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Just by the old Burnley quarry site is a group of people shaking things up. Burnley Youth Theatre (BYT) is a community theatre group, led by young people, for young people aged 0 -18 (up to 25 for young people with learning difficulties or disabilities).

Who are Burnley Youth Theatre?

BYT offers a creative space where everyone, no matter what their background, is accepted and welcomed.

Operating for almost 50 years, BYT’s ethos is to encourage all members to express themselves to the full.

They are given the opportunity to get involved in all aspects of theatre, from writing, producing and directing to promotion, looking after the social media channels and fundraising.

Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Karen Metcalfe said:

“One of the goals at BYT is to develop young people’s confidence, build key skills and to encourage them to make a positive contribution into their community.

“Those who attend also form solid friendships along the way. I feel that we are the kind of place where we encourage people to try out new ideas and do something that they really care about.”

“We not only give them a chance to have their voice heard but we reiterate over and over again that their voice is valuable. There is nowhere else in the world that I’d rather be.”

What do BYT do?

For the past ten years, the company have been sending shows up to Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the form of their rep company, Byteback Theatre.

This comprises of a team of cast members aged 15 – 18 (up to 25 for young people with learning difficulties or disabilities) who devise and write the show with an adult creative team and fundraise all the money themselves to get to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Byteback Theatre like to produce shows that are thought-provoking, political and aim to change existing perceptions of topics such as terrorism, child exploitation, extremism and more.

Student, Mollie Moorby said:

“I first heard about BYT when one of the workshop leaders came into my college and did a workshop about mental health.

“She then said she was doing a show at BYT, so I went along and after about two session, I absolutely loved it.

“Burnley Youth Theatre really is my second home. The fact that everyone is fully involved really makes me feel like I’m part of something, like my voice is being heard.

I feel such a sense of pride about it all. It really is a family. People come for the acting but stay for the people.”


Get in touch for more info

If you want to join in with the Burnley Youth Theatre, or to see one of their shows, you can check out the BYT website here.

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