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Deaf Youth Spotlight: North East Deaf Youth Theatre Thrives at Gosforth Civic and launches Christmas

Updated: May 10

Unfolding Theatre, a leading theatre company based in Newcastle, is thrilled to announce a new series of free North East Deaf Youth Theatre workshops at the recently refurbished Gosforth Civic Theatre and a Christmas Campaign to support a North East Deaf Youth Theatre Summer Camp in 2024. The workshops and summer camp are aimed at deaf children and young people aged 5 – 11 in the region.

In August 2024, Unfolding Theatre will host a 5-day summer camp at Gosforth Civic Theatre, where 20 Deaf children and young people will embark on a journey of co-creating a theatre project, culminating in a performance for friends and family. This project is part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and match-funding is sought through individual donations, as part of the North East Deaf Youth Theatre Christmas Campaign.

North East Deaf Youth Theatre, established in 2022, is dedicated to providing a creative platform for deaf children and young people to express themselves through theatre. The programme aims to support participants in developing their creative skills, building confidence, and forming new friendships. The themed monthly sessions will cover a wide range of skills, including storytelling, filmmaking, and puppetry, and will be led by Unfolding Theatre’s Creative Associate, EJ Raymond, who is profoundly deaf and a British Sign Language (BSL) user.

EJ Raymond, Creative Associate at Unfolding Theatre and founder of North East Deaf Youth Theatre, shared the motivation behind the initiative, stating, “I set up North East Deaf Youth Theatre in response to the limitations I experienced when starting out in theatre. I was told that deaf children can't make or create theatre; that they can't take part because they can't hear the cues or the dialogue. This is completely wrong. Deaf young people can make and create theatre, and – most importantly – they can do it by themselves. North East Deaf Youth Theatre provides the support to enable children to learn by themselves and offers deaf role models for inspiration.”

"Bringing North East Deaf Youth Theatre to Gosforth Civic Theatre has been brilliant. We're having a blast in the newly refurbished building, making each workshop a celebration of creativity and empowerment for these remarkable young people. Our previous summer camps have been fantastic; offering children and young people the chance to enjoy dedicated time together. We're hopeful people will be inspired to donate to our Christmas campaign to support the Summer Camp in 2024!" - Annie Rigby, Artistic Director, Unfolding Theatre

“Having North East Deaf Youth Theatre at Gosforth Civic Theatre reflects our organisational commitment to inclusivity and the celebration of diverse voices. Witnessing the creativity and enthusiasm of these young individuals is truly inspiring, and we look forward to the incredible performances and experiences that will unfold within our newly refurbished space." - Scott Forbes, Gosforth Civic Theatre

The monthly workshops at Gosforth Civic Theatre are open to children and young people aged 5 – 11, and tickets for North East Deaf Youth Theatre are free. For further information and registration, please visit Follow Unfolding Theatre on Twitter @unfoldingtheatr and join the conversation using #NEDYT.

People can donate to the fundraising campaign here.

Dates, times, and venue for North East Deaf Youth Theatre:

· Saturday 16th December

· Saturday 20th January

· Saturday 17th February

Venue: Gosforth Civic Theatre (GCT)

Times: 9:30-11:30 am for ages 5-11



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