2006: Chichester Festival Youth Theatre
In 2006, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre (CFYT) celebrated its 21st birthday with an anniversary gala concert. Founded in 1985 by Artistic Director John Gale, the aim of CFYT was to get people interested in theatre from an early age. Adverts for Saturday morning storytelling sessions were put in local schools and papers, with the first production Shades of Grey (1985) being an improvised piece about evacuees with a budget of £25. Since then CFYT has developed into one of the largest and most prestigious Youth Theatres in the country under the directorship of Dale Rooks. It offers weekly sessions to more than 750 young people aged 5 to 25 across West Sussex, including Youth Dance, Musical Theatre, Technical Youth Theatre and sessions for young people with additional needs. The Youth Theatre has also staged 99 productions including their well-loved annual Christmas show on the Festival stage, which began with The Wizard of Oz in 2003. Read more about the Youth Theatre in 1998 and 2015.
In 2022, the Youth Theatre returned to the stage for a celebratory alumni concert CFYT Celebrates!; this year's Christmas production will be The Jungle Book.