It started off as a week-long drama and art workshop in the local library in 1999. Almost two decades on, the Griese Youth Theatre has become one of the country’s leading youth theatres.
Open to all it, is subsidised to ensure those who want to attend can do so.
The theatre works with up to 150 young members each year putting together major drama productions and using an array of this different art forms from dance to Improvisation and everything in between.
And it also works on developing imagination and concentration.
Local young people flock to become part of the Griese Youth Theatre - as do those from further afield – at the Meeting House in Ballitore.
The work of the Griese Youth Theatre help builds confidence in its children and young people with members ranging in age from six to 18.
“We try to give everyone the opportunity to play in their own different way,” explains founder, Cork native Leish Burke, who believes drama is a key component in the development of young people.
“We see the children blossom as the years go by. You can’t quantify the positive impact this has on them. As well as giving them the ability to express themselves drama also opens up their world to wonderful literature and music.”
The theatre group were awarded National Lottery good causes funding of €3,750 which it used to purchase a sound system for the meeting house.
“We were able to erect speakers and it really had a major impact on our performances and rehearsal. Having a sound system in place means we’re not straining to hear music and that’s very important,” says Leish.
Last year, the Griese actors staged a major production of ‘Zero for the Young Dudes’ at the Riverbank Theatre in Newbridge. Directed by Dee Burke it was also performed in Belfast’s Lyric Theatre.
Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games go back to Good Causes. Last year alone over €225 million was raised by the National Lottery and its players for Good Causes all over Ireland, equating to about €616,000 per day.