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Since 2006 we've been giving young people aged 16 to 21 their first experience of working in professional theatre.

They audition to join the company for a period of 3 weeks, rehearse every day to produce a show with us and then tour it regionally. They are treated in all respects as if they were professional actors and, critically are paid to do this. This project has been the subject of an Arts Council England case study, and is promoted by them as a model of good practice.

In 2009 we extended the process to young writers, and ran a competition to find 3 young people to write new plays for The Apprenticed Actors Company. This programme was called 'New Lines'. For details

One of the winning plays from 'New Lines' was 'Hollows' by Alex Mullarky which toured in 2011, and again in June and July 2012. Alex was commissioned again in 2013, and her play 'Dominic' toured twice in 2013, in March as a rehearsed read and in July as a full tour.

Our new project to find scripts is called 'Finding Words', run by Associate Director Chris Loveless. The first winner is called 'Peregrine' by Laura Turner, and will tour in July 2014.


To see details of previous Apprenticed Actors Company performances click on the links below










I really loved working on this project . . . it really helped me in many ways. I got to meet some really cool people and I got to have a laugh. I also worked my buttocks off and learnt a lot.
Apprenticed Actors Company member 2006


The young people involved acquitted themselves admirably, with professionalism and maturity, and thoroughly deserved the positive turnout and consistently generous comments from the audience. Furthermore can I offer my appreciation to Sarah and yourself, this was a bold adventure executed with an obvious commitment and enthusiasm for work for, with and by young people.

Ian Hastings, Artistic Director, Dukes Theatre, Lancaster

Ice Baby

I enjoyed the play very much. What struck me about it was how the whole thing seemed to emanate from the cultural reference points of the audience.The language, the attitudes, the story of the young mother caught between the carefree life of her mates and the responsibilities of motherhood – all seemed to be real to the audience. The play seemed to be a collaboration in the best sense between two groups of equal status – the writer and the other professional artists on the one hand, and the young people on the other.

Andy Booth, Artistic Director, Quondam Theatre, Penrith


Entertaining, though provoking and enthralling; I was highly impressed by the young people's acting skills and characterisations.  The young people at Burnley Youth Theatre thoroughly enjoyed the performance, responded positively to the issues and were very impressed by the actors and the set.

Jane Hall, Resident Workshop Leader at Burnley Youth Theatre