Who Are We?

Richard Carruthers (Director/Producer)

‘One of the best things about Youth Theatre is the camaraderie that develops between all the age groups, parents, other adult helpers, teenagers and children, all working together for a common goal. Another is the love that is evident everywhere, supporting us all in everything we do with enthusiasm, flowing out to the audience in every performance, inspiring ourselves and those around us. Love underlies the fun in everything we do!’

Richard has been awarded a QSM in recognition of his contribution to theatre for youth and Osteopathy, and has over 20 years experience in the theatre. Richard is the leader in productions.

As well has his experiences in teaching and performing Richard has a degree in Osteopathy.

What is Youth Theatre?

Founded in January 2000, the Nelson Youth Theatre Company is run entirely by volunteers and to date has produced over 190 shows and run over 60 professionally taught theatre courses for young people in Nelson.
It was set up to provide opportunities for the Youth of Nelson to challenge themselves and expand their abilities through theatrical productions, whether as actors, singers, dancers, stage crew or technicians, and its slogan is “Inspiring the Future through Creativity”.

In so doing, it encourages self-motivation and self-discipline, and inspires creativity among all those involved, so that they become excellent role models for their peers, while encouraging the development of leadership skills, through providing training in directing and the opportunity to either codirect or solo direct youth theatre productions.

It also provides scholarships for youth actors to attend local, national or international training courses in theatre arts on an annual basis, and brings enjoyment, laughter and delight to a wide-ranging theatre audience by providing high quality entertainment in theatrical productions for the Nelson community. Shows such as “Les Miserables” (three times), “Chicago” and “Cats” rate among the most successful shows to be produced in Nelson in recent years.

What is the Youth Theatre Trust?

OBJECTIVES OF THE TRUST

The Inspiring Youth Theatre Charitable Trust has been set up to financially assist and support the Nelson Youth Theatre Company as it strives to provide opportunities for young people to challenge themselves and expand their abilities through theatrical productions, whether as actors, singers, dancers, stage crew or technicians.

To advance interest-free loans to the Nelson Youth Theatre Company for major show performing rights, and to purchase major items of equipment, such as lighting and sound gear, storage containers or major items of set needed for the effective running of Youth Theatre shows, provided these items are likely to be used on multiple occasions and are of use to the Nelson theatre Community.

To raise funds through such activities as earnings, grants, sponsorship, fundraising, donations or commissions to enable the Trust to provide support and assistance consistent with its charitable purposes, and to generally do all acts, matters and things that the Trustees consider necessary or conducive to further or obtain the objects and aims of the Trust as set out above including gifting scholarships to outstanding or hard working members of the Nelson Youth Theatre Company.

Child Protection Policy

To view the full child protection policy please click here

Designated Child Protection Officer

The Nelson Youth Theatre Company has a designated person for Child Protection, who is responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of this policy and related procedures and practice.

The Designated Person agrees to consult with others to gather information so that the policy and guidance documents are realistic, practical, user-friendly and effective. Consultation will be ongoing with the director/producer of the Nelson Youth Theatre Company to define responsibility and accountability, and to clarify principles and ethics, and to identify practicality and realistic circumstances that need to be covered.

The Designated Person for Child Protection is currently Richard Carruthers. He can be contacted on 0277391469 or nelsonytc@gmail.com

Policies

At Nelson Youth Theatre Company, our mission is to create opportunities for young people to develop valuable life skills and self confidence while expanding their abilities through theatrical productions. We strive to encourage self motivation and self discipline, and to inspire creativity among all those involved, so that they become excellent role models for their peers. Our main goal is to encourage the development of leadership skills, through providing opportunities to direct, choreograph, stage manage and play senior acting roles in major theatrical productions.

Our Promises

  • To provide opportunities for the Youth of Nelson to challenge themselves and expand their abilities through theatrical productions, whether as actors, singers, dancers, stage crew or technicians.
  • To create opportunities for youth actors to receive professional training from tertiary level theatre practitioners and educators, to further their knowledge and skills base as a preparation for entry into the profession.
  • To regularly stage multiple double cast productions in one season/venue (Multiplex productions) which allow up to a dozen talented actors to play lead roles, an additional 30 to 40 to play strong character roles, while the youngest play small roles suited to their ability.
  • To encourage self-motivation and self-discipline, and to inspire creativity among all those involved, so that they become excellent role models for their peers.
  • To encourage the development of leadership skills, through providing training in directing and the opportunity to either co-direct or solo direct youth theatre productions.
  • To publicise other national and international training opportunities, such as Summer Schools for youth actors, directors and technicians, and to network with other Youth Theatre groups around New Zealand and the world.
  • To provide scholarships for youth actors to attend local, national or international training courses in theatre arts on a regular basis.
  • To bring enjoyment, laughter and delight to a wide-ranging theatre audience by providing high quality entertainment in theatrical productions for the Nelson community.
  • To give away over 100 free seats to charities and community groups so that disadvantaged children, who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend performances of a large-scale musical or family pantomime staged in the Theatre Royal.
  • Providing a safe and caring environment for your child.
  • Providing opportunities for your child to develop new skills, extend themselves and gain confidence to take risks in the pursuit of their goals.
  • Providing feedback and coaching on your child’s performances.
  • The Nelson Youth Theatre Company is committed to the prevention of abuse and to the well-being of members, children, young people, vulnerable adults and their families and whānau.
  • The Nelson Youth Theatre Company is committed to acting at all times in the welfare and best interests of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
  • The Nelson Youth Theatre Company asserts that all children have equal rights to protection from abuse and exploitation regardless of their gender, race, religion, political beliefs, age, physical or mental health, sexual orientation, family and social background, and culture, economic status or criminal background.
  • All adult members of the company provide a positive role model for dealing with other people. Enthusiastic and constructive feedback will be given rather than negative criticism. Bullying will not be accepted or condoned.
  • The Nelson Youth Theatre Company holds a register of every child involved with the company and two emergency contact names and numbers are held at close hand throughout rehearsals and performances in case of emergency.
  • The Nelson Youth Theatre Company is committed to dealing with abuse, suspected abuse or disclosure of abuse in a timely manner.
  • The Nelson Youth Theatre Company acknowledges that in cases of suspected child abuse, support for families and whānau is important.
  • The Nelson Youth Theatre Company will ensure any disclosures about alleged abuse are acknowledged and appropriate action taken to ensure the safety of children who make disclosures.
  • To undertake a risk assessment and monitor risk throughout the production process.
  • To resolve issues that arise between actors, crew and parents in a timely manner.
  • To keep rehearsals open, fun and engaging in a safe and caring atmosphere.
  • To engage in effective recruitment of chaperones and other individuals with responsibility for children, including appropriate Police vetting.
  • To ensure that children are supervised at all times.
  • Know how to contact social services, in case it needs to report a concern.

Young Actor/Crew Responsibilities 

  • Mobile phones may NOT be used during rehearsals or performances by participants. Nelson Youth Theatre Company reserve the right confiscate mobile phones during rehearsals or performances if they are proving to be an ongoing distraction.
  • Treat the production as a team effort and support one another.
  • Avoid all forms of harassment of other participants including via text, social media or gossip.
  • Respect the direction of volunteers who help run the productions.
  • Make an effort to meet the performance standards required, this is likely to require individual practice or homework outside of rehearsals.
  • Young actors agree to wear either a nude suit (swimsuit style) or nude coloured boy shorts and singlet when attending for costuming or costume rehearsals.
  • Adhere to the Nelson Youth Theatre Company’s mobile phone policy.
  • Adhere to the Nelson Youth Theatre Company’s drop off and collection policy.
  • Adhere to the Nelson Youth Theatre Company’s photography and recording policy.
  • Respect venues where Nelson Youth Theatre Company rehearse or perform, and the personnel involved in running these venues.
  • Respect Nelson Youth Theatre Company property and hired property, such as scripts, costumes, props and microphones.
  • Adhere to Nelson Youth Theatre Company’s health and safety policy.
  • Report all incidents and issues to an adult chaperone or to the Child Protection Officer of the Nelson Youth Theatre Company team, no matter how small.
  • Adhere to Nelson Youth Theatre Company’s Child Protection policy.
  • Report all incidents and issues to an adult production team leader or chaperone, or to the Child Protection Officer of the Nelson Youth Theatre Company team, no matter how small.
  • Support each other throughout the rehearsal and performance process.

Parent Responsibilities

  • To provide prompt feedback to Nelson Youth Theatre Company regarding any concerns you may have regarding the involvement of your, or any other, child in Nelson Youth Theatre Company.
  • To ensure that your child is able to get to rehearsals on time and is dropped off and collected in accordance with Nelson Youth Theatre Company’s policy.
  • That all fees are paid on time to allow Nelson Youth Theatre Company to meet its financial commitments.
  • To encourage and support your child by helping them learn lines, practice songs and in particular to help them deal with disappointments and view all productions as a team effort.
  • To recognise that everybody has strengths and weaknesses, but that public comparison of different actors’ abilities in a production can be profoundly damaging to the actors, to the production and to Nelson Youth Theatre Company as a whole.
  • To ensure that children under your care are dropped off and collected in accordance with Nelson Youth Theatre Company’s policy. This includes ensuring that the children under your care are dropped off and collected from the door of the venue. Nelson Youth Theatre specifically requests that children are not asked to wait out on the roadside, nor are they allowed to walk, bike or scooter home without prior written parental consent in the form of an email or text.
  • If you would like to participate in carpooling please let Nelson Youth Theatre Company know and your name, phone number and suburb will be put on a list that will be made available to all participating parents and caregivers with children in the production. The organisation of carpooling will be between parents and caregivers.
  • No photography or video recording of any kind is allowed without prior agreement from the production director. This includes on stage, backstage and around the rehearsal or performance venue. The reason for this restriction is to both protect the participants in the show from unwanted photographs and video recording and to protect Nelson Youth Theatre Company from violations of its intellectual property commitments to the owners of the production.
  • Ensure their child(ren) adhere to the young actor/crew responsibilities.

Adult Volunteers, Chaperones, and Actor Responsibilities

  • Accept that the safety of youth under the care of Nelson Youth Theatre Company is the overriding concern.
  • Accept that if concerns regarding their behaviour are raised that the adult’s involvement with the Nelson Youth Theatre Company may be terminated solely at Nelson Youth Theatre Company’s discretion.
  • Are aware that the police may be involved in incidents involving the safety of youth at the discretion of Nelson Youth Theatre Company.
  • Agree not to pursue any one on one social contact with youth during the term of their involvement at Nelson Youth Theatre Company without the knowledge of their parent or caregiver. Agree to include the relevant parent or caregiver in all communication with youth involved with Nelson Youth Theatre Company that is not strictly related to the production.
  • Maintain a professional relationship with youth that is focused on the youth’s role within the production. Specifically, there will be no comments of a sexual nature or unnecessary physical contact.
  • Where physical contact is unavoidable in relation to the theatrical production, consent will be sought prior to any contact.
  • Will ensure that their use of social media adheres to the guidelines in this document.
  • Agree to raise all incidents and any violations of this code of conduct with the Designated Child Protection Officer.
  • Agree to undergo Police vetting.
  • Agree to attempt to ensure at all times that no adult has unsupervised contact with children
  • Where unsupervised contact with children is unavoidable the adult will enact risk minimisation such as the contact occurring in a public area.
  • If abuse is suspected the adult must record their suspicions and inform the Designated Child Protection Officer.
  • If Abuse is disclosed the adult must NOT promise to keep the abuse a secret. Listen carefully and avoid asking questions. Reassure the child that they did the right thing in telling someone, then tell the child you will have to tell Designated Child Protection Officer. Then use the first opportunity to inform the Designated Child Protection Officer.
  • When a group is travelling together the adults will maintain the above guidelines.

Chaperones

  • All adult volunteers, including adult cast, crew and chaperones, in any Nelson Youth Theatre production or activity will be required to undergo Police Vetting upon their first involvement with Nelson Youth Theatre Company, and every 3 years subsequent to this. They will also be provided with a copy of the latest version of this Child Protection Policy on an annual basis.
  • Chaperones will be appointed by the company for the care of children during the production process or course. The chaperone is acting in loco parentis and should exercise the care which a good parent might be reasonably expected to give a child.
  • Chaperones will be made aware of the theatre company’s child protection policy and procedures. All chaperones will undergo Police Vetting for the Nelson Youth Theatre Company, and ideally hold a First Aid Certificate. Chaperones will not usually have unsupervised access to children in their care.
  • Where chaperones are not satisfied with the conditions for the children, they should bring this to the attention of the producer or course leader. If changes cannot be resolved satisfactorily, the chaperone should consider not allowing the child to continue.
  • If a chaperone considers that a child is unwell or too tired to continue, the chaperone must inform the producer and not allow the child to continue, and inform the child’s caregivers.
  • No child of compulsory school age is permitted to do anything which may endanger life or limb. This could include working on wires or heavy lifting.
  • Chaperones will be aware of where children are at all times. Children are not to leave the theatre, rehearsal space or course venue unsupervised by chaperones unless in the company of parents. If a child intends to walk, cycle or scooter home unaccompanied, this should be noted on the form and the producer/leader notified. Parents must give notice in writing allowing children to leave in such a manner. Caregivers must give notice in writing allowing children to leave in
    such a manner.
  • Chaperones should be aware of the safety arrangements and first aid procedures in the venue and will ensure that children in their care do not place themselves and others in danger. Chaperones should ensure that any serious incidents or accidents are reported to and recorded by the Nelson Youth Theatre Company.
  • Chaperones should ensure that any serious incidents or accidents are reported to and recorded by the Child Protection Officer of the Nelson Youth Theatre Company.