The Scottish Community Drama Association (SCDA) supports local amateur theatre clubs across Scotland to develop their performance-making skills.

It works with clubs the length and breadth of Scotland, from the young to the young at heart. Working digitally throughout the pandemic has provided opportunities for them to connect people from across Scotland through workshops and forums. 

As a result of this activity, at the beginning of March 2021 SCDA launched an online Youth Leaders Network. 

"Initially we thought we would just focus on training and development for youth theatre leaders," explains SCDA's National Drama Advisor, Carole Williams. "But as soon as we started talking, we realised the need to broaden out our remit. So we've come up with a number of aims". 

SCDA's Youth Leaders Network aims are:

  • To focus on recovery. Working together and with other umbrella organisations to have a Scotland-wide approach to safely returning to performing arts activity
  • To share challenges and successes with each other to enable everyone to learn and grow
  • To create resources to share with the rest of the SCDA member clubs
  • To create learning opportunities for local leaders to develop their skills and ideas
  • To increase the presence/visibility of young people within SCDA

"Although it's still early days," says Carole, "a lot has happened since our first meeting." Achievements so far include:

  • Creating a digital resources document specifically for young theatre-makers that everyone can contribute to. 
  • A meeting with NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) Scotland and YTAS (Youth Theatre Arts) to discuss pooling resources and knowledge, ensuring a Scotland-wide approach to the recovery of non-professional performing arts.
  • The setting of three priorities for the year ahead, including a potentially exciting new film project that is currently being researched, as well as developing learning opportunities in two specific areas of performance.

The Youth Leaders Network currently has 14 members and is very open to more people joining. The only requirement is to be a member of SCDA and to be delivering performing arts activities for young people.  

Here's what an existing member had to say: 

After a year in lockdown and fed up with being told what’s not possible, I want to spend time with those who are focused on the art of the possible. I need the positive energy this group as a whole creates and the exchanging of ideas to help restart my motivation.

 To find out more, contact Carole Williams at [email protected]