I first joined YAT back in 2001 as a shy and awkward teenager. Over the years, my involvement with the group transformed me. It helped me to develop skills and qualities whose utility goes far beyond the performing arts – self-confidence, teamwork, creative thinking and problem-solving to name but four. It taught me to be ambitious, but also how to achieve those ambitions. It encouraged me to develop practical skills I didn’t even know I had. Most importantly, it introduced me to many wonderful people whom I am privileged to call my friends to this day. I have seen many other people undergo the same process of positive transformation over the years.
I continue to be involved with the group in a backstage capacity because of its unique and positive ethos. Everyone is invited to get involved – there is no “star culture” or exclusivity. A person is just as valued if they’re just dabbling in drama as they are if they intend to make a career of it. A new member is as welcome as one who’s been involved for years. Members pay this back with enthusiasm, dynamism and loyalty in everything they do, and the result is shows to an extremely high, even professional standard. For me, it’s a joy to be involved with any of their productions – every one is a learning experience, even after thirteen years.
YAT is far more than just another am-dram group. It offers everyone, regardless of money or experience, a chance to experience theatre and to grow as people. I’m proud to be a member.