Riverside Youth Theatre

Get more information on the Riverside Youth Theatre Summer School.

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Riverside Youth Theatre (RYT) 2024-25

The Riverside Youth Theatre  has been in operation for nearly 50 years - nurturing the hottest creative talent NI has to offer.

Our workshops and productions allow children and young people to explore, discover, learn and experiment creatively with professional artists, learning a range of theatre arts skills in a safe environment.

More importantly, there is the chance to meet new friends and above all - have a lot of fun.

Different groups available to enroll with:


For primary school children aged 5-11 years old

Meeting: Saturdays 11am – 12.30pm

TERM 1 - 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th September/ 5th, 12th & 19th October / 9th & 16th November 2023

Showcase for family and friends – 16th November at 12 noon ( TERM 2  - 2025 schedule TBC)

Fee: £80 per child x 10 weeks course

Who are the teachers?

The Riverside Youth Theatre this year will be facilitated by Mr Hullaballoo. Mr Hullaballoo is a children’s theatre company run by Ian Kells and Noleen, both fully qualified and experienced teachers.

Noleen and Ian highly experienced theatre makers and producers, and have previously produced dozens of professional pantomimes and children’s performances, especially at the Riverside Theatre. Both are accomplished storytellers, performers and puppeteers in their own right.


(in partnership with the National Theatre of London)

For secondary school children aged 12 – 18 years old

Mondays: 6.30-8.30pm

TERM  1 - 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th September / 7th, 14th October, 4th, 11th, 18th & 25th November 2024.

TERM 2 – 13th, 20th, 27th January, 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th February, 3rd,10th,24th March 2025.

Fee: £190 per young person – the project requires commitment for two terms x 20 weeks rehearsals and two public performance dates TBC.

The group will take part in a series of workshops and rehearsals to take part of a series of performances in different NI Locations for the National Theatre of London’s Connections Festival 2025.

In 2024-25 we are excited to welcome two new tutors to takeover the RYT Seniors group -

Claire Connor-Boyd

Who trained at the Samuel Beckett Centre in Trinity College Dublin . After graduating she worked as an actress for over 20 years .A number of years ago Claire decided she would change direction and in 2018 set up her own Mindset and high performance coaching business called Thrive .Since then ,as a by-product of being her own boss she now directs theatre and is very passionate about collaboration within the arts .She is thrilled to be heading up the RYT connections project on so many levels. Not just as a director of the show but also as a facilitator to hold space for teenagers to be brave ,confidant and enjoy the creative space of a rehearsal room.


Leanne McNally studied Drama at Loreto College, Coleraine and is an avid attendee of the Riverside Theatre. Completed a BA Drama and Theatre Studies in 2016 at Aberystwyth University. Here, she specialised in Performance Writing, Shakespeare in Performance and Site- Specific Theatre. In 2017, she received QTS in PGCE Drama, from Aberystwyth University. Since then, has been working as a Head of Drama in Wales and Northern Ireland. Focused on inspiring young people in performance.

* Keep an eye on the What's On section of our website for additional Summer Camps for children & young people too.

Riverside Youth Theatre Seniors Bursary Scheme 2023-24

Submit an application for full subsidy on the RYT Seniors annual enrolment fee.

  • Deadline for submission - Friday 25th August 2023.

Apply now

What age range is it suitable for?

Our primary school group is suitable for children aged 5 – 11. It is suited best to children who have already completed p1 and are going into p2, as they will already be used to a timetabled day. The day (although breaks will be provided) would be very long for a nursery child.

Likewise, our secondary school group is best suited for children who have already completed their first year of secondary school. If you are unsure please do get in touch with us by email Roseanne Sturgeon, Theatre Manager r.sturgeon@ulster.ac.uk

How many children and young people will be in each group?

There will be 30 people in each group. The project will be all inclusive with children participating to their own ability level. Each child will have a suitable role to play both individually and collectively.

Are parents allowed to stay?

We would recommend parents do not stay as this is often a distraction for children. As with school it is advised that parents drop the children off and return at the end of the day for collection. We will of course contact parents should the need arise eg. If a child feels unwell and we will use the contact details we have received for the child at registration.

Is the course suitable for beginners or those with drama experience? Yes, its suitable for children and young people who have experience, as well as those who have previously no experience. Ian and Noleen are incredibly enthusiastic, fun and outgoing teachers, and experienced in working with quieter children who may be quite shy. All participants will learn something new and grow in confidence and experience by taking part in the course.

Any further questions?

For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by emailing Roseanne Sturgeon, Riverside Theatre Manager r.sturgeon@ulster.ac.uk


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