Featured photo- Jess Arthur, STC Directing Associate and Kip Williams, STC Artistic Director

Last week, more than 100 teenagers from across Sydney had fun at the theatre, without a teacher in sight. A VIP experience with Sydney Theatre Company, especially designed for young Playwave members, saw 15-19 year olds treated to a Q&A with STC’s Artistic Director, Kip Williams, before a performance of The Resistible Rise of Arturo UI starring Hugo Weaving. It was the first of many unique Playwave Experiences planned as part of this Sydney-wide program to engage new young audiences for the arts.

Playwave, the new arts and entertainment platform for young people, is changing the way young people interact with Sydney’s culture by making the experience of theatre-going a friendly affair. According to Playwave’s Director of Young Audience Development, Valentina Corona:

“Playwave is about breaking down barriers to the arts for young people. In some cases those barriers are financial, which is why we provide discounted tickets to all our Playwave shows, but in many cases those barriers come from the young people themselves feeling like the arts isn’t a space where they feel welcome. For a lot of young people, the idea of going to a live performance that isn’t part of a school excursion is out of the question. Playwave is changing that.”

This VIP event with Sydney Theatre Company was the first in a series of Playwave Experiences, where Playwave members enjoy more than just a show; they are active participants in the arts. Playwave Experiences can range from exclusive backstage tours, secret pop-up gigs, scavenger hunts, and workshops, all designed to keep the arts relatable and fun.

Kip Williams understands the importance that the arts can play in the lives of young people:

“Going to the theatre was a transformative experience for me as a young person. It gave me access to new ways of seeing the world that both challenged and nourished me. However, I’m increasingly aware of how fortunate and rare this experience was. At STC we are passionate about addressing the challenges around young people accessing the arts. We need to continue working on new ways to make the arts more affordable, open, and accessible. Opportunities like the Playwave Experience with STC will do just that. We are so excited by this partnership, and the conversations it will start with young audiences throughout Sydney.”

Sydney Theatre Company is one of more than 30 Playwave presenting partners, including other Sydney arts powerhouses such as the Sydney Opera House, Carriageworks, and Bangarra Dance Theatre, alongside indie venues, who are committed to securing the future of arts in Sydney by making the arts accessible for all ages. By engaging young people in the arts at an early age, Playwave aims to create a new generation of art-lovers and audience members of the future.

Playwave is a partnership between Shopfront Arts Co-op and the City of Sydney.

PLAYWAVE is live and open for 15-19 year-olds to sign up for discounted tickets, special events and exclusive content.