The Youth Advisory Board work with the RSC and advocate for youth voices within the company.

The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) began in 2019 as a group of young people who were passionate about the arts, and who wanted to make young voices heard in support of the arts especially to promote the importance of the arts.

The young people on the YAB are a diverse group of ages, genders, and ethnicities from our Associate Schools Programme - one of their main aims is to make sure everyone’s voices are heard and acted upon, no matter who they are. They want to make a change in the world we are living in today, and to make sure the arts thrive in the future. 

Photo by Sam Allard, Fisher Studios © RSC Browse and license our images

The YAB formed to make the voices of the youth heard in an age where this beautiful sector is slowly disappearing due to the actions of a society that doesn’t realise its importance.

Together we are:

  • Passionate about equity and inclusion in the arts
  • Respectful of other people’s ideas
  • Unafraid to challenge and voice our opinions
  • Resolute about making a positive difference in society
  • Committed to listening to others and working collaboratively.

Young Creatives' Convention 2023

The RSC's Youth Advisory Board, headline sponsor TikTok and other young people including delegates from the Brit School, Intermission Youth and Silhouette Youth Theatre hosted an all day event in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre with panel discussions, workshops, and performances led by young people, arts professionals and theatre makers.

Our Youth Advisory Board, Silhouette Youth Theatre, Prime Theatre, Tramshed, Roundhouse, Arts Emergency and the Brit School gave presentations and performances. 

Delegates attended panel discussions on Access to the arts and Careers in the arts, open conversations about How to Make change and the Department for Education plan consultation and workshops on Safeguarding your mental health in the arts and Representation in Shakespeare. 

Watch the Young Creatives' Convention video 'Give us a voice'

Campaign for representation of diverse playwrights on the Curriculum 

Members of our Youth Advisory Board, YAB, have been working with Young Agitators at the Royal Court Theatre to broaden the range of writers studied on the Drama GCSE curriculum.

They met with representatives from the major exam boards to discuss why representation is so important for young people and to challenge them about the narrowness of the list of studied authors.

To increase and broaden representation of voices and themes on the the syllabus Pearson Edexcel and AQA have added new texts to their lists of optional text for study, including The Empress by Tanika Gupta. Watch YAB member, Ella talking about our 2023 production in the trailer.

The RSC has developed a suite of resources for teaching The Empress to support teachers in making the change to using more diverse texts in the classroom. 

The Empress Teacher Pack 2023

The Empress 2023

"I am pleased that Pearson have decided to expand their texts and am glad to hear that there will be things put in place to convince some schools to switch to these texts. I know this will be beneficial to students like me who grow up surrounded by people who are different to them, so that they can see that they’re not alone and identify with the experiences of the characters and events in the plays."

Time to be heard

The Youth Advisory Board created Time to be Heard, adapted from a national research project into arts education in school. The three-year research project, called Time to Listen, involved teachers and students in 30 schools working with a team from the University of Nottingham. Researchers analysed 6,000 responses from young people across the country whose schools either worked with the RSC or with Tate, to find out what young people felt about the importance of the arts and cultural education in their lives inside and outside school.

From the 6,000 responses, the Youth Advisory Board chose five quotes that they felt were important and best expressed the difference that Arts subjects and experiences make to their lives:

  • My way to escape from my learning difficulties is through the arts.
  • I know people who were involved in street life and being around negative people, they had nothing to do so joining drama clubs gets them off the streets.
  • You learn about feminism, racism, attacks on race or ethnicity, class debates in order to create a piece of drama.
  • In arts subjects there’s no such thing as perfection. It’s not in our dictionary because it cannot be achieved. It’s interpretation. Everyone will have a different opinion and you have to take it on board and reflect upon it.
  • I am more able to make mistakes and learn from them rather than hate myself for it.