Youth Theatre: Drama for Life defines the youth theatre process, by outlining its constituent parts and explaining how these activities work in order to support young people’s development. As well as describing what is done in youth theatre, it also explores why it’s done and how to ensure the best possible outcomes.

The book is in four parts:

  • Part 1 explores the nature and purpose of youth theatre, drawing on Michael Richardson’s extensive personal experience as a practitioner and manager.

  • Part 2 explains, in detail, the youth theatre process: warming up, playing games, voice work, developing skills, devising and the presentation of devised work.

  • Part 3 discusses how to create an appropriate environment within which the youth theatre process can be most effectively applied.

  • Part 4 covers the most common applications of the youth theatre process, namely using it in different education environments; and youth theatre productions and performance.

On top of this, two appendices give a list of over 60 games that are useful to use in youth theatre; and a list of recommended further reading that supports this book.

As well as giving key tips and advice from his own invaluable experience, Richardson offers comments from practitioners and participants on what makes a successful youth theatre experience.

Michael Richardson has worked in youth theatre for over 20 years, has been involved in the training of other practitioners, and in the strategic development of the youth theatre sector in the UK.

chapter |5 pages


Why youth theatre?

part |16 pages

Youth theatre, its nature and purpose

part |54 pages

The youth theatre process, its constituent parts

chapter |6 pages

Physical warm-up

chapter |6 pages


chapter |13 pages

Voice work

chapter |10 pages

Skills work

chapter |6 pages

Short sketch devising

chapter |6 pages

Long piece devising

part |69 pages

Youth theatre in practice

chapter |13 pages

Structuring a workshop

chapter |13 pages

Evaluating your practice

chapter |10 pages

Child protection

chapter |5 pages

Health and safety

chapter |6 pages


chapter |7 pages

Youth leadership

part |15 pages

Applied youth theatre

chapter |3 pages


Why youth theatre?