We've moved!

This donation page is on the old Big Give website. Please go to theBigGive.org.uk to find current campaigns and opportunities to double your donation.

If you have any queries on the changes, please email us at info@thebiggive.org.uk.

Project information

Contact Young Actors Company (CYAC)

CYAC allows a diverse group of young people to participate in high quality professional theatre performance over a 12 month period. They work with professionals to devise and perform 3 pieces of original theatre in Spring, Summer and Winter.

September 2011 - December 2011

Charity information: Contact

Contact logo
  • Need


    Many young people don't see themseselves or are not seen as the types of individuals who will participate in or benefit from theatre. This stereotyping isolates many young people who enjoy creative activity, are willing to learn and really want a chance to show what they can do. Looking for talent everywhere will enrich the diversity of our cultural landscape. We're trying to cultivate a dvierse future generation of performance artists and theatre-goers.


    We will select a diverse mix of 25 young people to commit to three 14-week terms over 12 months, delivering performances in Spring, Summer and Winter. They will be central to devising contemporary theatre performances, experience stage management, set design, lighting and direction. This project changes lives, builds confidence, teaches new skills, increases employability, breaks down barriers and prevents anti-social behaviour with young people who can have chaotic, challenging lives.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Get rid of isolation. Stereotyping of the arts isolates many who would enjoy creative activity.


    » Weekly drama workshops.
    » Working with and making friends of people they would never have met or thought they could be friends with.
    » Free to belong. There are no fees to pay for becoming a CYAC member.

    What success will look like

    Success will be seeing new positive relationships developed with a life beyond the project. Also having new audiences attend the shows and participants pride in being on stage.

    Aim 2

    Trying new things/learning new skills


    » Intensive workshops. Participants will find themselves in costume, stage makeup, flying off walls, learning to tango or tribal dancing.
    » CYAC creates paid opportunities for young people to develop as arts professionals by supporting trainee and assistant positions.

    What success will look like

    Success will be participants achieving things they thought they couldn't do and participants developing into Stage Managers, Producers, Directors or Writers as well as actors.

    Aim 3

    Increasing employability.


    » Learning to navigate a stage, take direction, work with a range of professionals, remember cues, get to places on time and be professional.
    » CYAC creates paid opportunities for young people to develop as arts professionals by supporting trainee and assistant positions.
    » CYAC provides entry points to other jobs in the arts, developing team-working and improved communication skills.

    What success will look like

    Success will be participants pursuing a career in the arts or transfering skills and attitudes learned in CYAC to future jobs.

    Aim 4

    Improving chances for young people at risk


    » Young people must commit to the full 12-month term.
    » Participants are fully supported by a team of professionals underpinned by appropriate pastoral care.
    » Participants have access to Contact staff and are encouraged to engage in other activities.

    What success will look like

    Success will be a turnaround in the lives of those at risk to positive activites and positive future.

  • Impact


    The project will encourage young people to see they have a place in the arts and a voice in it's future development. CYAC increases the number of diverse young people who confidently pursue jobs, attend events, have a view and a voice in policy-making, potentially changing, definitely enriching the tone of the UKs cultural offering. We will demonstrate this by documenting the number of particpants from the project engaging in the wider creative community.


    There is a risk that some participants challenging backgrounds mean they pull out of the Company. We will support participants facing difficulties as much as we can, referring on to specialist agencies if appropriate. If a participant leaves in this way, we would encourage them to come back the next year. We like to maintain a relationship with our participants, particularly those facing difficulties.


    We would report on an interim basis. Once the Company has been chosen, invite them to attend performances and meet the cast/Director and follow up with a post-project evaluation.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,054

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,760 Auditions and Workshops Outreach, 3 audition sessions and delivering workshops twice a week over 13 weeks
      £17,094 Production Costs Project management, set, costume, props, marketing, hospitality, travel, accommodation, video doc
      £1,200 Travel and subsistence (cast) Providing food and travel costs for the 2-week rehearsal period prior to performance
  • Background


    Contact is based in Hulme in Manchester. We're about half a mile outside of the city centre and on a stretch dominated by students. Hulme is a residential suburb less than one mile south of Manchester city centre; the wards of Moss Side, Whalley Range, the City Centre and Rusholme border it. Many of our participants and audiences come from these areas, but we also continue to work across Greater Manchester.


    We aim to make CYAC as diverse as possible and create a neutral meeting point away from post-code wars, so we invite young people from all over Greater Manchester to audition. Obviously we will engage young people from the local area which is one of the poorer wards in the city. A significant make up of the area is of new communities. The area continues to regenerate, bring new ethnic businesses into the area.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are the city's only venue-based young people's theatre. Contact delivers pioneering participatory projects on-site and in communities across Greater Manchester which demonstrate enhanced creative thinking and promote leadership among young people. We champion diversity at every level, strive to achieve exellence through innovation and aim to be a place where young people feel they have ownership, where they are taken seriously, are encouraged to make decisions and are actively involved.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Project Manager

    They are at the heart of the project. They audition and manage and support the participants. They keep the dialogue open between all project staff.

    Workshop Facilitators

    Holding weekly workshops with participants, they the oversee actors progression. They ensure the participants are ready for the rehearsal period.


    Working intensively with the participants everyday for 2-3 weeks in the run up to the show, they devise and shape with production with participants.

    Production Manager

    They pull together all logistical aspects of getting the show to stage.