A youth theatre with a difference is preparing for the new term.
Chester-based charity Minerva Arts, established by two city-based artists in 2009, says its message is very much about providing young people with something a bit different.
It explains it has always taken a contemporary angle on the performing arts, believing in the creativity, intelligence and artistry of children and young people.
Performances at Minerva tend to take an unusual, sideways glance at everything from classic texts to contemporary issues.
Recent shows by the theatre have included a sell-out production of Welcome to Wonderland, a version of Alice in Wonderland set in a 1990s nightclub, and a take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest set in the world of reality TV.
Speaking about the approach of their three current groups, two in Chester and one in Malpas, manager Hollie Wimpenny said: “You won’t find any jazz hands at Minerva.
“We like to experiment with different techniques such as movement, mime, and puppetry where anything can and will happen.”
She explained: “Drama is a great way to help build young people’s confidence, learn new skills and meet new people and we pride ourselves in supporting our members to realise their potential. We can’t wait to welcome new members.”
The company also offers Arts Award, a national qualification in the arts run by Arts Council England and Trinity College London.
This opportunity enables young people to gain accreditation for the work they do at Minerva, something the theatre believes is extremely important when their time is so precious and often pressured.
The theatre was the first drama-based organisation in Chester to offer the award and has more than six years of experience in successful delivery at all five levels.
It is open to new members for the new term starting in September. All directors and facilitators have many years’ experience of teaching and working in the performing arts industry.
In Chester, Minerva runs a 711 group for ages 7-11 every Saturday from 10am to noon at the Unity Centre on Cuppin Street and a senior group for ages 11-18 at the University of Chester’s Kingsway campus every Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm.
The Malpas group for 8-13 year olds runs every Thursday from 6pm to 8pm at Malpas Young Persons Centre.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.minervaarts.com.