Project information

Summer Youth Project

Since 2006 the Theatre has been forging new links with local community groups, schools and colleges. Now with an established Youth Theatre and a fully-integrated Outreach Programme, the Grand Opera House is spearheading the largest youth theatre project ever held in Northern Ireland.

February 2012 - July 2012

Charity information

Grand Opera House

Grand Opera House logo
  • Need


    We are N. Ireland’s premiere theatre and many dream of performing on our stage, however as a presenting theatre there are few opportunities. The Summer Youth Project is the largest of its kind in N. Ireland and allows us to open our doors to participation on a great scale during July when we are closed for maintenance. The project provides access to the theatre for young people from all communities across N. Ireland including areas of social deprivation through the provision of bursaries.


    In July the theatre will deliver a full scale production for young people aged 8 -18. From open auditions in March, 250 successful applicants will be selected to work with theatre professionals. Within 2 weeks they will present 5 public performances on the main stage. The participants will be involved at all levels, from performing to lighting, sound, stage crew and management. This project will showcase young talent on a premier stage and positively contribute towards personal development.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Stage the Summer Youth Project in July 2012.


    » Advertise Summer Youth Project auditions in all regional and national papers in February 2012.
    » Hold auditions in the theatre in March 2012

    Success will be receiving over 250 applicants for auditions in March 2012.

    Aim 2

    Hold five public performances in the main stage of the Grand Opera House


    » Advertise the performances in the theatre’s season brochures and website.
    » Allocate a marketing budget to advertise and market the performances to the wider public.
    » Sell tickets for the performances through Box Office.

    Success will be to sell over 3500 tickets for the five public performances.

    Aim 3

    Enable young people to work with high quality theatre professionals.


    » We will provide a number of technical theatre training days for those wishing to be involved in the technical and backstage aspects.
    » The project will be directed, produced and managed by senior management who have proven track records of delivering projects of this scale.

    Success wil be the delivery by the participants of the technical and backstage requirements of 5 full scale productions in partnership with the theatre’s stage crew.

    Aim 4

    Engage with young people from disadvantaged areas across Northern Ireland.


    » Through the support of a commercial funder we will be able to offer full and half bursaries for economically disadvantaged young people.

    Success will be providing full and half bursaries for all young people who apply to the bursary scheme and supply sufficient evidence in support of their application.

  • Impact


    In the long term the Summer Youth Project will become the leading performing arts outreach scheme in N.I. It is our intention that it will positively impact upon all those that take part and provide core life skills in self confidence, team work and communication skills.

    We will demonstrate its success by monitoring the number of young people auditioning each year. Success will be a 10% increase in numbers each year with a minimum of 25% of the previous cast re-auditioning for the next year.


    There is a risk that we may not secure the numbers that we need to audition for the project due to clashing schedules of other summer youth schemes. We have been in contact with youth and arts organisations throughout Northern Ireland to ensure the timing of our project does not coincide with any others.


    We will write to our donors individually to thank them and update them on the progress of the project. We will provide up to date information for donors on our website and in our Season Brochures as well as through press releases sent to the media.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £35,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £9,400 Technical Including light designer, technical costs, sound and LX equipment.
      £7,300 Set Including transportation, set designer and construction materials.
      £7,000 Costumes Including hire & transportation costs, makeup & wigs, costume designer and wardrobe mistress.
      £3,500 Marketing Direct mailers, adverts, eflyers, posters & photography
      £3,300 Band Cost of band for five public performances
      £2,000 Music Musical Director and rehearsal pianist
      £2,500 Choreographer Choreographer and assistant choreographer
  • Background


    The project will take place at the Grand Opera House in Belfast which is Northern Ireland’s leading theatre. The Grand Opera House is a beautifully restored 115 year old Matcham theatre and hosts productions of national and international acclaim. The project is open to all young people from across Northern Ireland and provides an opportunity to take centre stage on is this iconic theatre.


    Children from across Northern Ireland aged between 8–18 will be the primary beneficiaries. The project will also provide staff development for all theatre employees involved as they will be using their professional skills in different ways outside of their day to day roles and responsibilities. The project will create a stronger team and provide employees with opportunities to learn new skills.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Grand Opera House has an established Saturday Youth Theatre and a fully-integrated Outreach Programme. Our first summer youth project will take place this July and over 350 auditioned for a place on the project in March. This proves that there is a strong interest from the public in the work that we do and desire to get involved with the theatre.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Michael Ockwell

    Michael is the Chief Executive of the Grand Opera House and has produced and directed previous youth productions of this scale at Wycombe Swan.

    Adam Knight

    Adam is the Grand Opera House Operations Director and Producer for the project. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from the West End.

    Aine Dolan

    Aine is Project Manager. She has been the Education & Outreach Manager for 5 years and is dedicated to bringing performing arts into local communities

    Kathryn Calvin

    Kathryn has the responsibility for fundraising for the project, liaising with the project management team and communicating with donors.