Leeds University Library

Young People's Theatre conference archives online

Published Friday 7 October 2016

Pink and white index cards layered sideways

Digital resource available for first time

The catalogue of the Standing Conference for Young People's Theatre (SCYPT) is now online.  SCYPT was a campaigning organisation set up in 1974 to represent the growing number of Young People's Theatre (YPT) and Theatre in Education (TIE) companies.  The ground-breaking Theatre in Education movement was pioneered by the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry in 1965.  The company wrote and performed thought provoking plays for children and young people which provided exciting learning opportunities.  

More TIE and YPT companies quickly sprang up around the United Kingdom.  Often touring local schools, many still perform short dramatic works to give children and young people the opportunity to explore significant issues in active and creative ways.  The companies aim to help children and young people to understand their relationships with others and in society.  The challenging topics of their plays include prejudice, multiculturalism, politics and role expectations.  

The SCYPT collection contains over 300 playscripts mainly written and performed in the 1970s and 1980s.   It includes many works by leading champions of YPT and TIE including Brian Way, Stanley Evernden and Bryony Lavery.  The playscripts enable researchers to investigate the methods YPT and TIE companies used to challenge mainstream educational practice and stimulate critical thinking in their audiences. 
The collection is an important resource for the study of YPT and TIE companies in the 1970s and 1980s.  It contains papers generated by many companies in England, Wales and Scotland revealing their promotional activities and financial struggles to survive.

SCYPT held annual conferences.  The archive includes material relating to the founding of this important educational organisation and the proceedings of some of its conferences.

The SCYPT collection is part of our extensive Theatre and Performance Collections