The driving forces behind a thriving 21-year-old Dundee arts programme are turning their attention to the launch of a new youth theatre company in the city.
Lina Waghorn and Kenny Christie have amassed years of experience in education and performing arts projects from which many young people have gone on to successful careers in performance, teaching and the creative industries.
The two are synonymous with their work in producing over 70 staged productions with Dundee Schools Music Theatre.
They are now preparing to launch Dundee Youth Music Theatre (DYMT) in the hope of being able to inspire even greater numbers to realise their life potential through involvement in the arts.
Chance to work with West End figures
It will offer opportunities in musical theatre for young people of all backgrounds through skills workshops, master-classes, residency opportunities and practical performance.
The duo plan to give young people regular opportunities to work with theatre professionals including top West End performers, agent, directors and teaching staff of leading stage schools.
An advisory board helping to shape the programme includes representatives from further and higher education, business people, professional artists and those representing national partner agencies.
Despite the challenges of forging ahead during the pandemic situation, Kenny said he and Lina are eager to see the spring launch of DYMT.
“It is so sad at the moment to think of the young people for whom participation in the performing arts is such a central piece of their week – their social interactions, friendship groups and opportunities to grow and develop,” said Kenny.
“The launch of DYMT provides a really exciting opportunity for them to look forward to.
“Following guidance this may be virtually in the first instance, then in person as soon as is possible. “We can’t wait to get started.
“Our planned programme of activities is just fantastic with some amazing people on board helping us take this forward.”
Lina added: “The reason I created Dundee Schools Music Theatre all those years ago was to bring together young people from all across the city to develop their skills in performing arts, but also in terms of their confidence.
“Although a very high number have gone on to further training and have established careers in the arts, some of our biggest success stories were those who went on to college and university forging careers outwith performance or secured apprenticeships gaining long-term employment.
“Success was different for every individual.
“The ambition of DYMT allows us to take this even further.”