Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation

Croydon Youth Theatre Organisation

At a glance


  • Arts
  • Young people

Other details

Geographical remit: 


Croydon Youth Theatre (CYTO) gives young people, aged 13 – 22, from across the borough and neighbouring areas, access to drama and theatre activities to increase their confidence and life skills. These activities immensely enrich our members’ lives and the lives of our communities. We are inclusive, accessible, fun, challenging and diverse.

•    We seek to enable, empower and challenge young people through developing and presenting work of artistic excellence.
•    We offer opportunities for personal development and enjoyment, increasing members’ and volunteers’ self-esteem, self-expression and confidence.
•    We provide young people with the opportunity to work with theatre professionals and co-create productions at this level.
•    We provide a safe environment where everyone is valued and where we create a sense of belonging, develop trust and equal involvement.

Outcomes for our members include:

- the development of performing arts, technical and life skills that will enhance their creativity, life skills and employment possibilities
- an increase in their confidence levels
- the ability to work as part of a team and to value other people and themselves
- the creation of connections with their local communities 
- making their own life choices, not directed by elders/school/employers
- the discovery of varying cultural worlds outside their own everyday lives
- making friends beyond their usual peer group in a diverse environment 
- enjoying achievements, both personal and collective, whilst all the time having enormous amounts of fun.  


CYTO is a very democratic organisation where everyone’s ideas are invited and members are given space for expression and development in a non-judgemental environment. Our workshop leaders and tutors are quite unique in that they are youth workers and work in applied theatre education and professional theatres. They encourage our members to constantly innovate and develop a professional mind set in their work. 

Currently there are five workshops each week focusing on different disciplines – singing, technical, devising, dance and an extremely popular Friday night event which incorporates many disciplines as well as a social opportunity for members. A major full scale production is staged each term, with some smaller workshops and rehearsals arising from this work, with smaller projects dovetailing with the themes and disciplines being developed on the main stage.

Key project areas have been identified to align with CYTO’s strategic aims, and the interests of our members. Our four year strategic plan will identify and seek funding for projects that would:-

•    provide an alternative path for young people who are isolated, disadvantaged, at risk, unengaged or uninspired
•    involve culturally diverse groups, create stronger communities and increase the diversity mix of members, volunteers and trustees
•    take risks, push boundaries and extend into new ways of working 
•    engage in practice that leads to positive outcomes for young people
•    demonstrate the potential for lasting learning and outcomes across the borough
•    explore opportunities for promotion of CYTO and wider application of best practice across the borough of Croydon and beyond
•    create new partnerships with professional performing arts organisations, schools, colleges and universities, community and youth groups and key stakeholders in the borough and beyond.

CYTO will also implement standards and arts awards that are appropriate to our work to create a progression path for our members and underpin the robustness of the organisation. 

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