Posted: Mon 18th Mar 2024

Storyhouse opens new ‘Studio By Storyhouse’ for young creatives

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Storyhouse has opened a brilliant new base for young creatives in the city centre.

Studio by Storyhouse, has transformed the former Boots store in the Forum shopping centre into a multi-purpose space for creative activities and rehearsals.

The new name was chosen in consultation with members of Young Storyhouse themselves.

The two-storey space will give the Young Storyhouse team their own bespoke base from which to create work and organise special programmes, events and performances which will then take place at the main Storyhouse site in nearby Hunter Street.

It will also enable Storyhouse to offer a broader programme for young people who might not currently engage with the main creative arts offer – including drop-in activities like spoken word workshops.

In addition, it will be used by professional casts for rehearsals of Storyhouse Original productions, including the upcoming Kinky Boots and Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, who historically met in spaces elsewhere in the city.

Storyhouse’s work with young people has continued to expand since it opened the doors in Chester city centre in 2017.

Young Storyhouse programmes create transformative opportunities for young people including working with professionals, develop skills, build confidence and work creatively.

Along with three theatre companies – a Youth Theatre for five to 13-year-olds and 13 to 17-year-olds and Storyhouse Young Company (SYC) for 17 to 25-year-olds – Young Storyhouse also includes programmes for Young Leaders (skill development), Young Catalysts, Young Programmers, Young Readers and The Agency. Many participants are referred to Storyhouse by services including education, probation, social services and charities – meaning the programme reaches some of most of disadvantaged and under-served young people in the city.

Until now members have met in locations inside Storyhouse including the Garret Theatre.

But the service has now outgrown the building.

Storyhouse creative director Suzie Henderson explains: “It’s a fantastic problem to have, but our young people’s activities and projects have grown and grown since we opened six years ago, and we just don’t have enough room for them in the building any more.

“The new Studio by Storyhouse is two storeys and has very large, light and airy spaces which are totally flexible so we can use them however we want and for whatever type of activity.

“It gives us the opportunity to have a broader offer for our young people. Until recently we couldn’t have any more groups or expand the youth theatre or run any other kind of projects as we didn’t have space for them. It’s great that we can do even more!”

The opening of Studio by Storyhouse has also enabled Storyhouse to free up the Garret Theatre for use by more community, grassroots and local organisations, and for visiting shows and events.

Suzie Henderson adds: “The Garret is a space we can programme with emerging artists and solo shows, work which can be more accessibly priced. We’re keen for us to have that breadth of programme available at Storyhouse.”

To find out how to get involved with any of Young Storyhouse’s project visit storyhouse.com

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