The Victorian Youth Theatre has been inspiring and challenging Melbourne’s young performers for the past 30 years. VYT currently offers weekly drama courses to young people aged 8 – 18 years in 13 venues across Melbourne.
Our unique programme combines elements of two key areas:
- ‘Creative drama’ uses a variety of activities to develop spontaneity, imagination, focus, confidence, verbal, physical
‘Stagecraft drama’ places an emphasis on vocal projection and clarity, acting techniques, text as the basis for characterisation, and physical staging.
The VYT has developed a curriculum which employs ‘creative drama’ in weekly classes, alongside rehearsals for performances where ‘stagecraft drama’ is the main focus.Students may join at any age from the year they turn eight, and may progress through the hierarchy of the organisation based on their age and ability. Entry level students attend one class per week of 90-120 minutes. More advanced students attend two classes per week, each of 90-120 minutes.
Read below for more information or explore our other performing arts classes for young people in Melbourne.
Established in 1984 as the Victorian Children’s Theatre, early classes were run by founding director Patrick Conlan in a church hall in East Kew. Demand for classes soon grew beyond the capacity of the venue, and the organisation expanded to six locations around Melbourne.
While early classes had been offered to Primary School students only, the addition of teenage classes eventually led to a name change to the Victorian Youth Theatre (VYT).
By 1996 the VYT had several hundred students across Melbourne, and embarked upon its first touring ventures, a production of A WELL SPUN YARN which visited the Adelaide Fringe Festival in March 1996, and toured five American cities and towns in September of the same year.
The VYT subsequently commissioned another touring piece, BACK TO BACCHUS, which toured to Europe in 1997, USA in 1999, and Europe once again in 2002 and 2004.
In 2004, to celebrate its 20th Anniversary, the VYT mounted a season of original Australian works at the Beckett Theatre, CUB Malthouse. During this season, over 700 students had the opportunity to perform in this landmark venue.
In 2010, the VYT production of THE BFG toured regional Melbourne and the Adelaide Fringe Festival. This production was remounted in early 2012 for an extensive tour of Melbourne’s libraries.
In 2013, the VYT revived Peter Brook’s epic play THE CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS. This production enjoyed a season at Melbourne’s prestigious CUB Malthouse, and toured to the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
Classes/rehearsals are offered at thirteen venues around Melbourne:
Bentleigh, Berwick, Bundoora, Camberwell, Croydon, Essendon, Frankston, Hawthorn, Hoppers Crossing, Mount Waverley, Taylors Lakes, Templestowe, Thornbury. Visit locations for more details.
Whether the love of theatre turns out to be a career or simply a lifelong passion and hobby, the VYT is often the first step towards a new world of experiences and skills.
Many VYT students have progressed to further study in institutions such as NIDA, WAAPA, Arts Academy Ballarat, Monash University, VCA, as well as internationally.
Current student and recent graduates have been seen:
- on stage in national tours of ANNIE, MARY POPPINS, CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, LOVE NEVER DIES, SOUTH PACIFIC, PRISCILLA, AVENUE Q, CHICAGO, SPAMALOT, JERSEY BOYS, MY FAIR LADY, GUYS AND DOLLS, and THE KING & I
- on TV in ongoing roles in HOME & AWAY, NEIGHBOURS, HOUSE HUSBANDS, THE LOST BOYS, TIME OF OUR LIVES, IN YOUR DREAMS, ANGRY BOYS, SUMMER HEIGHTS HIGH, SEA PATROL, AS THE BELL RINGS, THE PACIFIC, RESCUE: SPECIAL OPS, H2O: JUST ADD WATER, POWER RANGERS, WICKED SCIENCE, along with countless guest and cameo appearances and commercials.
- in feature films including ACCOLYTES, BLESSED, ANIMAL KINGDOM, IRRESISTIBLE, PUPPY, WIL, CHARLOTTE'S WEB and HATING ALISON ASHLEY and many more.
Find out more about the Victorian Youth Theatre in course information.