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This year has shown the introduction of Youth Arts Companies in Film, Theatre and Dance. These are for ages 12-19 and focus on development as well as providing a sense of belonging to an arts network for young people. These companies offer young people the opportunity to meet one another and to continually learn and progress together through weekly sessions throughout the year.

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Shetland Youth Drama is led by Stephenie Pagulayan, who encouraged participants through a creative process in devising theatre works. They explored a variety of drama techniques throughout the term. Their sharing involved each delivering solo scripts, which was done to a very high standard.

Film Crew expanded to provide Film Crew Junior, for the young film enthusiasts and each created a short 5 minute film which they shared at the Christmas sharing. They were playful and everyone enjoyed them! The participants learnt to storyboard, shoot and edit. They worked together in groups to record their films. Film Crew sessions are delivered by local filmmaker Keiba Clubb.

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Shetland Youth Dance has had a strong cohort of enthusiastic young dancers, who are learning contemporary dance techniques throughout the terms. The sessions have begun to explore some creative and choreographic approaches, however have ensured to provide technique first so that participants have knowledge to take forward to create with.

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The weekly sessions are delivered by local freelance artists, offering them regular income, as well as development through support from Creative Project Manager and by continually working responsively to participant’s needs.

There will be an opportunity for companies to have intensives throughout the year, with local or visiting artists. These can be to learn new skills or ways of working, or to create new work, and will also act as audience development for visiting performances.

The Youth Companies plan to have progression for young people. We hope that as their capabilities begin to grow we can look into further opportunities for them, such as Youth Arts Exchanges or performances. They currently follow SQA course guidelines, some of which are being delivered at Higher level. We do not wish to formalise these just now however the companies do prepare those students studying Higher Drama at the Anderson High School.

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