Riverland Youth Theatre was established in 1985, as a participatory company for young people; presenting theatrical productions throughout the region, conducting school workshops and presenting performances by visiting artists. The Chairman, Riverland Cultural Trust, states in the 1985 – 1986 annual report:
The Trust’s newest activity, the Riverland Youth Theatre began in this period and we are confident of its potential to develop into one of the country’s major Youth Theatres.
In 1986 RYT received grants from the Youth Performing Arts Council and the Theatre and Literature Boards for its major production for 1986 – Flood Play. By 1988, RYT had presented nine productions.
As a result of these successes, Riverland Youth Theatre were independently incorporated in 1995 and since those early days of ‘big hair and shoulder pads’, RYT continues to offer young people across the Riverland region relevant, innovative and high quality performing arts experiences through the annual program of projects and programs.
The company continues to grow from strength to strength. How wonderful it is when parents of our participants tell us they themselves were once RYT participants. RYT’s alumni who have careers in the arts is impressive and examples include professional actors, artistic directors, arts administrators, theatre technicians, performing art centre managers, drama teachers and visual artists.
Annually approximately 3000 children and young people aged 5 -26 participate in programs and projects. Through this innovative artistic process of creative development, RYT has well established partnerships and continues to further develop strategic partnerships with community service providers, arts organisations and community organisations. Outcomes in areas such as mental & physical health, welfare, justice, cultural awareness, self-esteem and communication are engrained in our work.
Our annual artistic report is testimony to the innovative, creative and exciting arts opportunities RYT delivers to young people throughout the Riverland.
RYT’s annual program is supported with funding from Carclew, (State Government funding); Riverland Local Government – Renmark Paringa Council, Loxton Waikerie Council, Berri Barmera Council, philanthropic funding support and fundraising.
RYT’s projects are supported through both Government and non-Government funding.
RYT’s proud list of awards celebrates and congratulates the artists and participants who have engaged in our projects.
In January 2020 RYT were awarded Berri Barmera Council’s Australia Day Award for ‘Building Better Community’ Award for our Riverland Harmony Day event 2019.
- SA Regional Award 2014 for Art for Water 2013.
- One of two Statewide finalists for the Ruby Awards for community projects under $100,000 for Water 2013.
- Adelaide Fringe 2013 Best Fringe Parade Float Award.
- Inducted in the Telstra Hall of Fame Regional Awards 2010, 11th Annual Advantage SA (Formerly SA Great).
- The radio play Wireless Voices part of Come Out Festival for Young People Colliding Worlds SA Great 10th Annual Regional Awards 2009.
- LANDED received the prestigious 2006 YEP Youth Fringe Award for innovation and excellence, was nominated for an Adelaide Theatre Guide award and received the 2006 SA Great Regional Award (Youth).
- In partnership with Life Education, the Renmark Paringa Australia Day Community Events Award for RYT’s role managing the RivEisteddfod for 2005.
- RYT collaborated with Berri Primary School to develop Boys will be Boys for their Lighthouse Project that won the 2004 National Schooling Award.
- RYT’s commissioned script ‘I Said A Word’, written by Stephen House in collaboration with members of RYT won the Australian Writers’ Guild award in the Original Theatre for Young People category for 2002.
- RYT won the prestigious 2002 Riverland / Murraylands Regional SA Great Award for bringing national recognition to the company and area and providing an outlet for young people’s artistic passions.