New research reveals the positive life-changing impacts of youth theatre participation

Date: 25th April 2023
Category: Education, Leisure and Cultural Activities, Recreation, play and cultural activities


Youth Theatre Arts Scotland (YTAS) and the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) teamed up to carry out research into the long-term impacts of participation in youth theatre on participants’ professional and personal lives. The findings reveal the valuable impact of youth theatre experience on participant’s personal and professional lives and is a great resource for theatre organisations looking for proof of their impact.

The study comprised of a web survey completed by 346 individuals, followed by case study interviews of individuals with varying careers including a software engineer, doctor and archivist.

Through a comparative analysis of the eight case studies, six key long-term positive impacts of participation in youth theatre were identified as confidence, emotional intelligence, resilience, teamwork and leadership skills, emotional wellbeing and broadened horizons.

These findings are now being communicated to key policymakers, funders, and network members, and YTAS hopes to use them to shape future planning and delivery in the youth theatre sector.

Youth theatre and the arts play an important role in children and young people’s lives and policy and allocation of funding must reflect this. Under Article 32 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities and to participate in cultural life and the arts. General Comment No. 17 on Article 31 emphasizes the importance of promoting children's participation in cultural life and encourages states to provide access to affordable and quality artistic and cultural activities for all children, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. Youth theatre allows children to exercise their right to play by providing a space for them to engage in imaginative and creative activities, which are essential for their overall development and well-being, and according to this new research, will continue to support their wellbeing throughout their lives.