Youngsters have a say on how theatre is run

The Dukes Youth Forum
The Dukes Youth Forum

Young people are having their say over how a Lancaster theatre is run.

The Dukes Youth Forum is an opportunity for people aged 13-25 to have a real influence at the Moor Lane venue.

And two forum members have even been elected to The Dukes Board of Directors which makes important decisions over the theatre’s future.

Although only established recently, the Youth Forum has already helped to improve signage outside DT3, The Dukes youth-specific space, and are planning a ‘teen takeover’ of the main building in the summer.

The Forum is also working with Ludus Dance on the Lancashire Youth Dance Festival in May and hopes to improve the frontage of DT3 which is housed in a former church building just up the road from the main venue.

“A lot of people walk past the building and don’t know what happens in there so the Youth Forum hope to change that,” said Creative Learning Officer, Paul Adams.

“The idea of the Forum is to influence event programming and outreach work to help move The Dukes forward strategically and artistically from a young person’s point of view.”

The Forum hopes to spread the word about The Dukes with new marketing campaigns, promote it to local youth organisations and play an important part in youth arts networks across Lancashire.

Two youth representatives, Polly Wain and Elizabeth Fox, both aged 13, were elected by the Forum to take its ideas to board level and their suggestions have been discussed.

Polly said: “I joined the Youth Forum because I have a real passion for theatre making and a strong connection to The Dukes, having been in their creative learning programme for six years.

“As a youth rep on The Dukes Board, I’m excited to be a part of giving young people more of a voice.”

The Youth Forum meets every fortnight and is open to anyone aged 13-25 interested in culture and arts. The Forum would welcome new recruits. Paul Adams on 01524 598521 or email him at padams@dukes-lancaster.org.