UPDATED:   15/12/05

Big changes have taken hold of the organisation – no longer are we Waterford Youth Drama but instead we are now Waterford Youth Arts (WYA) which incorporates WYD, WYDmoves and WYD-Eye Film Unit. Also we have physically moved to the former Barracks at Barracks Street. Our new location is called The Arch, Barrack Street. In case you don’t know where this is – its opposite Mount Sion School. We are to the left hand side of the main arch, go through the pedestrian arch and our door is there – press the buzzer for entrance.

We are very grateful to all the movers who helped with the packing, carrying etc. – it was hard work but hopefully everyone will feel at home in our new space and feel the move was worth it.

The space at the Barracks is a designated community space and is built as part of the new housing development scheme. WYA applied to the City Council for the space and luckily we were chosen by the Council – for this we would like to thank all the Council – both staff and elected representatives. This is fantastic for the organisation as we now have our own base (our own home) and most importantly we have our own workshop space. WYA will be sharing the space with other community groups who will also use the Meeting Room for their purposes.

Having our own workshop and rehearsal space presents a lot of exciting possibilities – we are planning to install some basic stage lighting and create a small studio space that can be used for performances. This will give us the opportunity to try out more performance type projects without any major costs involved and will see some possible cross discipline collaborations in the future. It is hoped that it will create an atmosphere of creativity and lead to many new and exciting productions in the years to come.

WYA operates a child safety policy which includes the aim to always have two adults in every workshop. WYA pays for a tutor to run each workshop but for the organisation to run smoothly we need to have a volunteer adult on board for each workshop. What we give in return is some training and hopefully some enjoyment to the leader. We have some great volunteers who have committed themselves for many years to help with individual workshops – these people are the backbone of our work and ensure that at all times workshops are safe and good fun for all involved.
WYA now needs new volunteers – No experience necessary – all you need is an interest and a commitment to see through a term with a particular group. You can see from the above the times and venues what types of commitment would be necessary.
In return you will learn new skills from the tutor, you will receive some training in child safety and first aid etc. In the past we have found volunteers from parents; teachers; youthworkers; WIT and CTI students; and other arts workers. If you are interested please ring the office at 879377 or Ollie at 086-1759188 and leave your name and tel. no. – Ollie will get back to you for a chat and hopefully we can find a few more good committed people who like to play and have fun.

Ben and Clem (see review later)
Stage Combat Workshop and Performance (See review later)

The following are our drama workshops in the New Year and they all start back on the week beginning Monday 30th January:

Age      Venue                                      Day and Time
9-11     The Arch, Barracks St.          Tuesdays 4.30-6pm
9-11     The Arch, Barracks St.          Wednesdays 4.30-6pm
9-11     Ballybeg Community Space   Wednesdays 5-6.30pm
9-11     Scout Hall, Ferrybank           Thursdays 4.30pm-6pm
12-14   The Arch, Barrack St.            Mondays 6-8pm
12-14   The Arch, Barrack St.            Tuesdays 6-8pm
15-19   The Arch, Barrack St.            Mondays 8-10pm
15-19   The Arch, Barrack St.            Tuesdays 8-10pm

Registration – to sign-up for all drama classes call to WYA office at the Arch, Barracks Street on the week beginning 16th January with classes starting back on the week beginning Monday 30th January.

is a new devised play by Ciorclach Theatre Company and can be seen at the Arch, on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th Dec. at 8pm. Admission €5 from Garter Lane Box Office. Ciorclach is an arts initiative between Waterford Youth Arts and the Brothers of Charity Services. Directed by James Rockett and Keith Grogan, it was described as an “entirely powerful piece of theatre” when seen earlier this month at the National Service Users Conference in Galway.


Welcome to our new dance teacher Deirdre Dempsey who will be working with Libby to bring dance to the youth of Waterford. Deirdre is from Clonmel and worked in Holland for many years.

On Thursday 15th Dec. at 6pm Libby and Deirdre are organising a little end of term performance for parents and friends. All the dance groups will be involved and St. John of God School is the venue.

Tutors – Libby will be working with Thursday groups (Blues, Reds and Greens) and Deirdre will work with the Wednesday groups (Yellows 1 & 2, and Violets).
Boys Group – The office will be taking names of any boys who would like to get involved in a project for all ages specifically designed to encourage boys to explore creative movement. Workshops will start when we achieve a good number interested.
Hip Hop – in 2006 we are also introducing a new dance workshop in the Hip Hop Style and will be aimed at young people 8 years plus. The class happens at St. John of God School on Wednesdays from 7 – 8pm
Registration – to sign-up for all dance classes call to WYA office at the Arch, Barracks Street on the week beginning 16th January with classes starting back on the week beginning Monday 23rd January.


To sign-up for Film workshops – you must be 13 years and over - call to WYA office at the Arch, Barracks Street on the week beginning 16th January with classes starting back on the week beginning Monday 30th January.

We are planning to start a new round of creative writing classes for 13-19 year olds beginning in mid-February. The tutor once again will be Jim Daly. Jim brings with him a great knowledge and experience in writing. He is a poet and playwright. If you are interested, please register at the office. Workshops will run Saturdays at The Arch, 11am to 1pm, starting Saturday in February for an eight-class term. The group will read their new work as part of the Sean Dunne Literary Festival in April.

WYA are preparing a new updated Child Safety Policy document for the organisation. When this is finished all parents and interested parties are welcome to view and have inputs on any aspect of it. We did have a policy before but needs updating as we are on charge of a new space / venue then we need to update and make relevant to this new situation.
Each youth and arts organisation must have a Child Protection Officer and for WYA that designated person is Ollie Breslin and the deputy CPO is Helen Rafferty who is one the WYA Board.

WYA is run by a voluntary Board and they are: Padraig O’Griofa (Chair); Helen Rafferty; Joe Gough (Youth Development Officer); Tony Colclough; Denis Barrett and Michael Grant. Two new positions have been announced Mary Roche who is a City Councilor has been nominated on to our board from Waterford Youth Committee and Victor Merriman has joined the Board – Vic is the new head of Arts at WIT.
We are delighted with these two new appointments – Mary is no stranger to the arts. She acted with Arts for All and Red Kettle for many years.

All workshops are coming to an end very soon and for some of these workshops there will be sharings and small performances to mark the end of term. In the new year we will have a new set-up for workshop times so it is important to study this carefully and plan what group would most suit you and your friends. Thank you to all your parents for their continuing support by chauffeuring you to workshops each week.

Many parents thought we were mad ringing around trying to rope-in some of you to this workshop and performance which was also held during the Imagine Festival. The reason we rang you so much was that we knew it was going to be good. Paul Burke is a professional fight choreographer and has worked with all the major films and theatre in Ireland. The workshop worked with young people from 12 – 17 years and for the 25 participants it was a Blast. Right from the first moment Paul had everyone learning fighting skills and it was great fun. Andrew McLaughlin (an ex-member by the way who is now a professional actor in the UK) was our volunteer leader for the three days and we were based at the Educate Together Primary School in Tycor.
The performance in the grounds of Waterford Courthouse was great given the short time available and was operatic in scale. It was the first time that WYD used a car in a performance and there were great scenes of tension and aggression on view. Well done to all cast and crew – a great experiment and hopefully we can get Paul back again for some other work in the future. WYD would like to thank all the Court Staff for their help; the Fire Station for their assistance; Security; Educate Together national School; and the generous help of Clem and staff at Sam Hire for the use of lighting and generator.

Well done to the cast and crew of Ben and Clem which was seen at the recent Imagine Festival – because it was such a glowing report by Theatre Reviewer Liam Murphy (Munster Express) we have decided to let you hear what Liam had to say:
“One of the highlights of the Imagine Festival was Waterford Youth Drama’s clever production of Ben and Clem, where a modern skateboarders story played out in different locations in the Patrick Street/Ballybricken area and to some extent the locations refined the content of the play. This was a rites of passage story by Pat Daly and his hard, mean-streets characters were softened out by young players. In nine very short scenes we got more than a slice of life of Ben who is growing up and moving away from skateboarding and from boyhood friend Clem, the darkdevil boardmeister in the red hoodie. While Ben seems to be the sensible one, it is the fearless Clem who knows when he tells Ben - We’re the same Ben, just different.
Because of the on-street locations, snatches of dialogue were often lost due to passing cars and inaudibility, but there was a real sense of walking along and eves-dropping on snippets of peoples’ lives and you had to project the scenario in your own imagination.
Pat Daly’s work ha power and acerbity and this was so evident in a strong Garda scene outside the Station where Robert Brown’s forceful Guard struck the right notes.
A few minutes later, as the duo met other lawless, spray-painting, skateboarders nicely played by tough guy Morgan Carparelli and an un-credited sidekick, outside the Old Labour Exchange, a man shouted at Ben from the pub door and for a minute there was a frisson of reality. It emerged that this was the estranged father of Ben and the snatches of dialogue had real power and veracity.
Another powerful moment was Claire Hennebry (as Lynn) telling she is pregnant - Yeah sort of, I’m pregnant Ben. No response from Ben, he doesn’t hold or hug her and she continues - It’s okay though, I’m going away for a while. Then it was off down the Stony Steps in the drizzle.
Jamie Power brought a hurt, confused realism to the role of Ben, and a diminutive Clem was lucidly played, by Victor Bible. Other parts were Sarah Cleary and Aoife Barron and Ben’s father was the excellent John Hearn.
Keith Grogan directed this novel experience and he let it flow as we stood under yellow street-lights and in dark corners as rain dripped from trees. Once car lights were used to illuminate a scene in Carrigeen Park. Waterford Youth Drama, Pat Daly and the Imagine Festival took their audience on a walk-about into the heart of a play, like walking onto a movie set. It was memorable and adventurous and a credit to all involved.