By Linda Apostolides,
Director Byron Youth Theatre
The production of Under Your Thumb has been a huge success. We are deeply grateful to NRCF and CASP Regional Arts NSW for funding this project which was nominated by youth audiences in 2018.
Devising an original social action theatre performance requires courage, good research, consideration of audiences and a multi talented team effort. The cast of Byron Youth Theatre, some who have only joined this year excelled themselves. They approached each element, whether it was researching, interviewing, sharing personal experiences, or engaging in numerous facilitated exercises and theatre based activities with total dedication and commitment.
The result was a dynamic, sometimes confronting, thought provoking theatrical production which moved both youth and community audiences, empowering them to have those often hard conversations and ultimately take action to end all forms of abuse.
Receiving training from the Women’s Resource Service in Mullumbimby, connecting Tweed headspace, local psychologists and Byron Youth Services was vital to the creation of this production.
We were also delighted to employ Charlie Gill ( aged 16) from Shearwater Steiner school who is a whizz at lighting and audio, Myla Yeoman ( aged 20) our graphic designer and Charlotte Dodds ( aged 18) who choreographed one scene. It is our intention to provide paid employment to as many young local artists in each production and this is only possible through our funding.
Some of the feedback forms we received reflect Under Your Thumb’s effect:
“This was a reality check for me, I have been aware of some things going on in my school and now I am going to speak up”
“ I could totally relate to the characters in this scene, it’s good to know I;m not alone, it was good to hear there’s support”
“I was glad that the boys in our class were watching this, there needs to be more taught about these issues actually in school.”
“It has a massive effect on me becuase this has happened to me. I feel I can go talk about it now”
“Why don;t we learn about love and intimacy at school? Thank you BYT hopefully the teachers will include”
“The poem was so true and gave me ideas of how I can change and hopefully some of my friends too so we can find ways of being close and date without our phones!”
“Another outstanding production by BYT, just wish they could get these performances out to more schools”
“This is the first time I’ve seen a BYT production, I was blown away by the standard, the talent and the brilliant crafted show, Congratulations you should feel very proud”