Moffat Youth TheatreJane Gray of Moffat Youth Theatre in Dumfries & Galloway tells us how a 'Together Again' microgrant from Creative Lives helped the group welcome its young participants to a drama workshop, a much-needed moment of togetherness as Covid restrictions lifted.

"Based at the Studio Theatre, Moffat Youth Theatre uses creativity and imagination to help to build our participants’ self-confidence, skills, and sense of empowerment. We focus more on creating a safe space, connection, and community than we do on performance, though we’ve done some of that too!

Under the name of the Studio Theatre, we’ve also developed a popular programme of Drama Queens workshops for those who identify as female. We are also dedicated to supporting early-stage creatives as they build their careers in the performing arts. 

As a charity run by a handful of volunteers in our spare time, money and time are always too tight to mention. And, like so many in our sector, lockdown proved an incredibly challenging time for our organisation – both for the disruption to our programme development, and for any hope of revenue generation. The ‘on/off’ nature of lockdown and the Covid prevention measures also fed into a long period of insecurity and disruption to our business planning.

We applied for the Creative Lives ‘Together Again’ microgrant to allow us to host a free-to-attend workshop facilitated by a local practitioner. It was important to us that we gave our members an opportunity to connect with a skilled emerging artist who could share their practice and offer insight into the sector.

We’d worked with actor and theatremaker Andre Anderson before and were delighted when he agreed to offer a workshop on theatre-making to our members. A full-day event, attended by some of our senior young people as well as one of our Drama Queen participants, we all had a great time and were able to work creatively and positively as a group. Andre was also willing to share his experience of building a career in the sector with the people attending.

The Creative Lives money helped cover the cost of practitioner and workshop assistant fees, as well as professional photography for the event and sketchnotes of the key part of the learning, which are available to practitioners and participants.

We’re really grateful to Creative Lives for their generous grant and keen to find ways to work with Andre again – watch this space!"