Over the last 14 years, MTC has provided 25 students aged 15-17 from urban, regional and rural Victoria with the opportunity to participate in the Youth Scholarship Course, a 5 day immersive drama and arts program.

This year the Youth Scholarship Course was made possible through the very generous support of the Lady Mayoress Committee. The 15-member executive arm of the Committee raises funds for the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation with a particular focus on contributing to organisations working with disadvantaged women and children.

Across the 5 day program students learn and develop drama skills, gain confidence, self-awareness and self-expression whilst building friendships and a lifelong affinity for theatre.

In collaboration with the MTC Education Department and MTC Teaching Artists students are taken through a range of performance making, movement, voice and rhythm exercises. The emphasis is on self-expression, an integral part of a performance ensemble.

In addition to this, students also attend a number of unique live performances, including both MTC and external theatre productions. Many of the young people have never had the opportunity to see professional productions on this scale. Each performance demonstrates the broad definition of theatre, and the many possibilities open to young people for exploration.

On the final day students deliver a performance presentation where they are given the opportunity to share their experience of the week with friends, family, teachers and MTC staff.

To be eligible for the program the young person will be experiencing barriers in one or more of the following areas; geographic, economic, educational or personal. The Scholarship Course affords these young people the opportunity to experience theatre, drama and art at a level not otherwise possible.

Feedback from students, teachers and parents attests to the benefits of the Scholarship Course. On completion of the course one young student commented, “I have gained more confidence (in) who I am and I see myself achieving more out of life”. To a similar tone a parent of a course attendee commented, “…my daughter… was enriched by the workshop, gaining valuable experience and confidence. I was encouraged by her engagement in learning and her desire to work with other individuals”.

Members of The Lady Mayoress Committee were also moved by the experience with many of the committee members attending the students’ final presentation on the Friday afternoon. Here they experienced firsthand the impact this course had on each student with one committee member passing comment on how wonderful it was to witness the direct impact their funding had on a young person’s life.

We would like to sincerely thank The Lady Mayoress Committee for their extraordinary support of the Youth Scholarship Course.

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