. Theatre Companies
HILLS YOUTH THEATRE
PO Box 561
STIRLING SA 5152
Ben Proeve - Website Coordinator
Hills Youth Theatre is a community based non-profit organisation which provides quality drama education and performance opportunities to children in the Stirling and surrounding hills area aged 6-18 years.
The inspiration for the Hills Youth Theatre was born in the winter of 1985, when the Stirling Players presented the children's play, "The Terribly Noisy Giant". The success of this production generated many requests from children and parents for a place for young people to learn about the theatre. Mrs Sancha Fitzhardinge and Mrs Didy Pederick, both actively involved with the Hills Musical Company, were asked to set up a children's drama group.
A public meeting was called, and more than 50 parents showed up to demonstrate their interest. On 2 December, 1985, Mrs Fitzhardinge was elected as chairman of the committee of the newly formed Hills Youth Theatre (HYT). The first committee members were Laurel Brady (ballet teacher), Doug McNie (Treasurer- accountant), Jo Coventry, Didy Pederick, Di King and Rose Milton-Head.
The original committee agreed that drama instruction classes, working towards a performance each term, be set up. Professional drama instructors were engaged. The first classes commenced in 1986 with tutors Julia Reichmann, Joan Leslie, Paul Skrebels and Rae Eldridge. There were 60 students. By the time a constitution was adopted on the 2nd of April 1986, there were 120 students enrolled in drama classes.
With two other theatre groups using the Stirling Theatre, space was limited, and classes were held at other venues. The resignation of two tutors, and no replacements found, produced a turbulent first year, but the drama school continued, and a selection of dramatic pieces were presented by the students at the end of the year. The following year saw another tutor resign, and Jan Warren (the late Jan Colquhoun) joined the team and became responsible for the senior drama classes and productions.
1989 saw the first open-door production of the Hill's Youth Theatre, "The Two Alices". The show encompassed the majority of the drama students and embraced children of all ages. Since that time, there have been more than 50 productions and 10 pantomimes.
Scores of talented youngsters have achieved a great deal with the HYT over the years. Many have gone on to be successful with other senior theatre groups, including the Stirling Players, Hills Musical Company, St. Jude's Players, Burnside Players and Mayfair.
The Hills Youth Theatre has become one of the largest youth theatre groups in South Australia and continues to teach theatre, drama and stage lore to enthusiastic children from five to 20 years old. Professional tutors, parents and community members provide input and support for the drama classes and major productions.