GIPPSLAND Youth Drama Workshop (GYDW) is set to begin its first production group for 2024, writing and rehearsing for a June show.

Young performers are traveling from across the region to be involved in the original production.

After the hit performance of the original comedy The Ghostly Graveyard in November, the young performers were presented with production awards in recognition of their dedication and enthusiasm for the performing arts.

The group is now setting themselves for a new production, and are inviting new members to get involved.

Director Phillip Mayer said there was many benefits to performing arts in young people.

“Drama helps build resilience, well-being, self esteem and engagement, and participation gives young people essential life skills which help them cope with challenges,” he said.

“There is nothing but positives, and it’s a privilege being a part of instilling an appreciation and opportunities for the performing arts in regional youth. It’s a special program, a real positive for the community and the kids love it”.

Established in 1993, the theatre program is unique in that every production is original and conceived by the participants.

GYDW has produced more than 100 original shows, involving over 2200 regional performers.

The workshop sessions focus on building performance skills, as well as confidence, team work, vocabulary, communication, responsibility and many other attributes transferable to life.

The main aim is to enhance the young performer’s natural talents, and provide a positive educational theatre experience in a supportive environment.

“Young performers build plot, characters, themes and humorous scenes which they find interesting and valuable in expressing their ideas,” Mr Mayer said.

“It’s a great creative outlet. We incorporate improvisations, theatre sports games, writer’s workshop sessions, the rehearsal process, stage craft, voice projection and a final production open to family, friends and the general public.

“All the participants are given good sized roles commensurate with their experience and ability, and they buzz with excitement at performing in front of a large audience.”

The group is enhanced by members of the award-winning Here There and Everywhere Theatre Co.

“We have an amazing team helping to produce theatre with our dedicated young people from across Latrobe,” Mr Mayer said.

“Theatre is all about expressing yourself and viewing the world in unique ways so you can try and make sense of it.

“It’s also a lot of fun. Taking part is one of the best ways to develop the imagination and support creative expression, especially for young people.

“Collaborating with peers, discussing big ideas and learning the skills of live performance can help prepare kids for real-world challenges.

“Our curriculum is designed and delivered by experienced performers with a passion for making a difference in young people’s lives.”

The workshop’s new production starts for rehearsals today (Wednesday, February 14), and welcomes new young stars to join.

The show is booked for June 29, running from 5.15pm until 6.45pm.

Weekly rehearsals are conducted in Traralgon, and are open to young participants from upper-primary age through to 17 years.

Final applications for the new show close soon, with bookings essential as places are limited.

For further information, phone the director on 0409 878 688.