123 young people aged 13-21 years old from across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire took part in a national youth theatre festival this May at Doncaster’s flagship venue Cast. Over the three-day festival, the theatre came alive as young people too to the stage performing eight brand new plays specially commissioned by the National Theatre.

Eight groups from across the region took part, including Hall Cross Academy’s Delante Detras Theatre Company from Doncaster. Also taking part were students from South Hunsley School, Lincoln Young Company, Hemsworth Arts & Community Academy, Scarborough Sixth Form College, The Academy Grimsby and Hornsea School and Language College.

The Connections Festival gives young people the opportunity to perform on a professional stage as well as directing, designing sound and lights and stage-manage each show. During the festival each group also took part in theatre workshops delivered by industry professionals in between rehearsals. Participants also worked with Cast’s technical team and a professional director from the National Theatre team in London.

This is the second time Cast has partnered with the National Theatre to host Connections, having first hosted the festival in April 2016.

Sarah Clough, Cast’s Head of Participation, said: ‘It was great to see the building full of young people making theatre, learning new skills and having fun with their peers. Connections is a great opportunity for young people to experience professional theatre making at Cast and it has been incredible to see each group grow in confidence and develop each play throughout rehearsals leading to the final performances at Cast. This was our biggest festival ever and we can’t wait to bring Connections again next year to Doncaster.’

NT Connections 2017