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Youth theatre: What it’s like to be a youth and outreach manager

Hannah Hogg, 29, is youth and outreach manager at Chichester Festival Theatre, and lives in Petersfield.

As youth and outreach manager, a big focus in my job is with our youth theatre, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre (CFYT).

We run 39 sessions a week all over West Sussex. I liaise with a lot of the parents and members and do the general administration like registers and signing up new members.

I also lead on our work with young carers, young people with additional needs, and am starting to look at creating more work with young people around wellbeing and mental health.

Working at Chichester Festival Theatre

I have worked at Chichester Festival Theatre (CFT) for eight years now. I came here on a postgraduate traineeship and have been super lucky to continue on to other roles here. Before CFT I was training at Birmingham Conservatoire.

I had first heard about CFT through a friend from university who used to be in CFYT, as I was looking for roles working with young people.

She took me to go and see the CFYT show The Witches in 2013, it was just the most wonderful production and I knew I had to work there. With great timing a role came up for a traineeship for a postgraduate within the children and young people strand; I applied and very luckily got the job.

What I love about my job

The young people – they are inspiring and so wonderful to work with every day. My job has the perfect split of administration and being creative.

Don’t get me wrong, I am one of those people who love a spreadsheet, but being in a room leading sessions, directing a devised piece of theatre or working on a Christmas show is the best.

My advice to my younger self

Join a youth group, whether that be a youth club, theatre, art, anything. Having a creative outlet each week is beneficial in so many ways. I wish I had gone to a group like youth theatre, the confidence you get, the friendships you might make, enhancing your wellbeing and giving you a sense of belonging. That is so special.

My advice to someone who wants to go into a similar role

Volunteer, assist with youth groups, research into traineeships and courses, go and see all the theatre you can. Be present and involved

Charlotte Harding
Charlotte Harding
Charlotte is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.


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