The Young Company is the Royal Exchange Theatre’s award-winning resident company for participants aged 14 -21. Offering exclusive access to workshops, masterclasses, production opportunities and free tickets to all our main house shows.
Between January 2021 and August 2021, we will work with hundreds of young people who want to train with us. Either through the weekly Markers, Writers and Performers groups of through our Young Collective workshops. We offer in-depth training and practical opportunities supporting company members to develop, create and grow at the heart of a producing theatre.
To join our Performers, Writers or Makers groups, you will need to come along to an informal workshop at the theatre. You should book online to a workshop and complete an application form. The application form will be emailed to you once you’ve booked your place. Auditions for the Young Company 2021 will be taking place in the autumn.
To join our Young Collective membership scheme, you simply need to sign up online and then you’ll be part of our Young Company! Once you’ve a member, you can sign up to Collective workshops throughout the year.
Unfortunately, we cannot offer a place to everyone who applies to the Young Company Makers, Performers or Writers. To ensure this process is fair and consistent, we have a clear selection process in place:
- We look at how you participate in the recruitment workshop alongside the information you put on your application form.
- The focus of the work with the Young Company is on working as an ensemble, so we will be keen to see how you respond to this in your application and in the workshop.
- Due to our funding requirements, we prioritise entry for young people from Greater Manchester districts – Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan. This means the majority of places are offered to people who live in these districts.
- Manchester is a vibrant and diverse city and we proactively aim to ensure the Young Company reflects this makeup in our selections.
- The Young Company is open to everyone; whether you’re new to theatre, already have lots of experience or you’re somewhere in between. We aim to make the groups as balanced as possible, working with young people with different levels of experience.
You have to choose! You can’t be in more than one group, unfortunately, due to the commitment required for each group. You can reapply the following year to join a different group if you are still within the right age bracket.
Auditions for the Young Company 2021 will be taking place in the autumn.
Absolutely! We keep about 25% of our current cohort each year, which means we are looking for 75% new people. Some people get into the Young Company on their second or even third attempt. In the meantime, why not join our Collective to take part in workshops at the Exchange throughout the year.
• Weekly skills sessions
• Opportunities to make, watch and learn more about theatre
• Free tickets to Royal Exchange main house productions
• Access to our Facebook group which provides opportunities in the arts, information about events, tickets and work in Manchester
• Production opportunities including an end of year performance and a show made in collaboration with our Elders Company
• Mentoring from theatre staff and exclusive backstage access
Performers 1: 14-17 year olds
Performers 2: 18-21 year olds
Makers: 16-21 year olds
Writers: 16-21 year olds
Young Collective: 14-21 year olds
You must be within that age bracket on 1 September 2020 to join
Performers 1: Mondays 5.00pm – 7.00pm
Performers 2: Mondays 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Makers: Tuesday, 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Writers: Tuesday, 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Young Collective: various times and dates. There are Young Collective workshops on a Tuesday from 5.00pm – 7.00pm and additionally on certain Wednesdays and Saturdays during the year.
The groups meet in term time and have time off for Easter and half term breaks.
The times for the Performers, Makers and Writers groups are set. Please think about whether or not you can commit to joining the Young Company before signing up. We understand that people are busy, however you need to attend the majority of sessions in the year.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you can commit, think about signing up to the Young Collectives which offers more flexibility by enabling you to come along to whichever workshop takes your fancy.
We understand that exams are important, and we appreciate that they come first, however, we really need our Young Company members to commit to attending all of their workshops. Due to the popularity of the programmes and the high numbers of applicants, we need to ensure that we are supporting members who can commit and attend all workshops. We understand that of course, things come up, however if you do not attend three or more sessions in a term, we may have to review your place in the Company.
Membership to the Young Performers, Makers and Writers groups costs £150 for the year.
Membership to the Young Collectives costs £10 for the year. Workshops are £5 per session.
Online workshops will be free of charge, once you're a member. Half term project will be at a cost.
Our Arts Pot scheme offers financial support for anyone who needs it. Arts Pot can be used to help cover project and workshop fees, and the cost of travel to and from the Theatre. We fundraise for the Arts Pot every year and it is there for anyone who needs it! Asking for Arts Pot support will not affect your application. You can request the Arts Pot once we have offered you a place in the Young Company.
The Performers group will all get the chance to perform at the end of the year. The Makers and Writers groups will work on the summer production as well.
We intend to use a blended approach to learning for the Young Company 2021. This means we will be having some sessions at the theatre and some online. We will be constantly responding to local and national government guidelines and we will adapt the Young Company depending on what we’re able and allowed to do. Your safety is our first priority.
As mentioned above, we will be adopting a blended approach to learning. If you are isolating, you will be able to join in on online sessions. We will try and accommodate people who are isolating to sessions that are in the building as well and we will always communicate with you via email.
Absolutely. The same will apply to people shielding as with those isolating. We will accommodate you and your needs wherever possible.
We are working hard to adapt the building and ensure that it is COVID secure. We will be in touch with Young Company members before sessions with all of the relevant safety information. We will ensure that all sessions are distanced, masks are worn in corridors and public spaces and Young Company participants have our risk assessments and procedures. For groups of under 18s, we will ensure that bubbles are no more than 15 people and markers are clear on where members have to go or be in the space. For all groups, we will be following guidance and reviewing this on a weekly basis.