Past Events/Productions

Over our 35 years in business Waterford Youth Arts has put on many exciting, engaging and extraordinary Festivals, Theatre Productions, Showcases, Themed Events and Street Performances in and around Waterford City and Counties in a wide variety of incredible venues.


All the events below are listed in chronological order, for a full list of most of our major events over the years click the link below.



Great turn out for the first WYA production of the decade – Resolutions ‘A one-act play about homelessness from a young person's perspective, which tells the story of three young people who experience homelessness.‘ which ran for three performances on Friday the 24th at 8pm and Saturday the 25th of January at 2pm (matinee) and 8pm in St Patricks Gateway Centre.


All the money raised from ticket sales went to support the work of ‘Helping Hands’ a local voluntary group that feeds homeless people in St. Patrick’s Gateway Centre all year round.


Resolutions was written and directed by Martina Collender with the senior drama members (who were also the stars of the production), Lauren Carbery (Stage Manager), Heather Troy-Whelan (Lighting and Sound), Abi McCormick (Sound Effects) and last but not least Bell the Dog in her first ever role.

The Harry Potter Experience


The Harry Potter Experience was one enchanting event for young people aged 7 plus and for the young at heart, when it ran in the Central Library Waterford on the 12th of December. Running for around an hour this magical event was filled with spell casting, lessons games, and sweets. The young witches and wizards also got to interact with some brilliant original characters (played by the senior drama members) with Martina Collender overseeing it all.


The Harry Potter Experience was a collaborative event between Waterford City and Council Libraries and Waterford Youth Arts.

The Lit Young Writers Festival - 2019


The third annual ‘The Lit Young Writers Festival’ ran on Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th of November, over these incredible two days some of the best local and national authors, journalists and spoken word stars – ‘Sarah Crossan, Dave Rudden, Natalya O’Flaherty, Colm Keegan, Sarah Marie Griffin, Elaine Feeney, Rose Keating, Megan Nolan, Erin Fornoff and Beau Williams’ hosted a range of incredible events, workshops, discussions, spoken word sessions and poetry jams.

​To learn more about the festival visit 'The Lit Young Writers Festival's’ website - or follow their Facebook and Instagram pages for all the latest news and information.

Horrible Historical Trails 2019


‘It was truly horrible, educational and they walked the legs off us’ said nobody after the 3rd annual Horrible Historical Trails that ran on Thursday the 24th and Saturday the 26th of October. ‘Spirits’ were high and the crowd was delighted with this spooktacular piece of theatre.


Horrible Historical Trails was director and managed by Martina Collender and Lauren Carberry, Sound by Josh with Heather Troy-Whelan assisting and written by the Senior Drama Members who also starred in the production.

We Have 11 years to save the planet but, we only have today to save ourselves - Summer Theatre Project 2019


Waterford Youth Arts - 25th Summer Theatre Project “We have 11 years to save the planet but, we only have today to save ourselves” was not only our longest title we ever had, was one eye opening play on Climate Change and Mental Health.

Co-produced in association with Garter Lane Arts Centre “Waterford Youth Arts - 25th Summer Theatre Project “We have 11 years to save the planet but, we only have today to save ourselves” this devised production ran on the 21st, 22nd, 23th and 24th of August. Play was composed by Grace Dyas and the Senior Drama Members.


Artists Involved: Grace Dyas, Deirdre Dwyer, Lauren Carbery, James Rockett Neil Keary and Éadaoin Breathnach

Waterford Youth Arts - Summer School 2019


Summer School 2019 has come to a close and over the course of the five days the 4 to 6, 7 to 9 and 10 to 13 year explored a wide array of art forms - Film, Drumming, Drama, Dancing and Puppetry - taking place up in the Arch and Mount Sion Community College.


It was a very fruitful week, as the young people made two short films, created and performed two impromptu plays, learned a couple of dance numbers and some drum patterns which they showcased to their families on Friday evening.

Works In Progress - A Night Of Sorcery and Magic


The Junior ‘Works in Progress’ was a magical evening indeed, for young and old alike when the 5 to 15 year old members of Waterford Youth Arts performed in Garter Lane Arts Centre in front of a full house. On the night the audience got to see a circus performance, a “Murder Mystery” play, several dance pieces, three young creative writers, five great films and much more, put on by these great young minds. This event was sponsored by Cruinniú na nÓg.

Works In Progress - 2019


With 21 fantastic acts - including a hilarious musical, a colourful Poi routine, a great couples counselling sketch and a spoken word tribute to Micheal Collins. 2019's Works In Progress was a huge success, As well as being a entertaining evening for the audience the senior drama members also learned a lot from creating, curating, producing and directing there own acts. Going above and beyond there own creative expectations, this was one fantastic night in the majestic Garter Lane Art Centre. 

Works In Progress will be back in 2020 so stay tuned.

Erasmus+ Exchange of Practice Project - White Paper


In 2018 Waterford Youth Arts was involved in a three way Erasmus+ Project with the theatre companies Stella Polaris from Norway and National Theatre Târgu-Mureş from Transylvania, Romania. With the purpose of documenting the learning of young people. Below is the White Paper for the project in English, Romanian and Norwegian. 


English - Youth Arts Projects Learning Leadership Skills (YAPLLS)

Romanian -  Tineri Care Învată Abilitățile De Lider

Norwegian - Youth Arts Projects Learning Leadership Skills (YAPLLS)

The Lost Elf - Christmas Play


The Lost Elf, written and directed by Martina Collender ran from the 20th to the 22nd of December, up in the Arch on Barracks Street. This play was put on by the senior members of the WYA Drama Group, who also helped with the writing, lighting and sound for the production.

"Christmas in Waterford City is on the verge of being elf has gotten lost from Santa and finds himself at the mercy of humans. Will their humanity and their Christmas Magic save him and bring him back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve?  The pressure is on and theclock is ticking to get the Elf home, however the Elf's heart begins to Break and his Christmas Magic slips away when he discovers that no one spends time with each other anymore and that there isn't much love and humanity to be found around the city.  Evil & Eviller &the Evilness Corporation are insisting that the only way to have a good Christmas is to spend loads and loads and loads of money. A group of humans are our only hope - they may change their mind and realise wherever you find love it feels like Christmas, hopefully? or else.... Christmas will be cancelled. "

The LIT Festival 2018


​ The LIT Festival 2018.


The second annual LIT Festival (A Reading and Writing Festival run by Young People for Young People) has come and gone, but the memories will stay with us forever.


Over the course of Friday the 9th and Saturday the 10th of November, many great local and national authors came down to Waterford City and ran workshops and talks for young people aged 14 to 19 years.


This year we had many great guests such as Emmet Kirwan, Abby Oliveira, Karl Parkinson, Darren Donohue, Eimear Cheasty, Stephen Murray, Anna Jordan, Dave Lordan, Colm Keegan, Stephen Murray and Alana Daly Mulligan, who all ran workshops on Saturday.


The LIT festival will be back in 2019, with more exciting events for aspiring authors and enthusiasts. So if you’re an upcoming blogger who’s looking to be more expressive, a creative writer who wants a better understanding of world building or if you’re a avid book reader; there will be something here for you



Organised by:  Eimear Cheasty (Project Coordinator) and the WYA Creative Writing Team

Resourced by: Waterford Art's Council and Irish Rail

Horrible Historic Trails 2018


Terrified... You should be, this four night theatrical run was horrifyingly good fun for all the family when it ran from the 23rd to the 27th of October.


Over the course of 2 hours, young people and the not so young alike got to experience, firsthand the spirits of Waterford walking through the Viking Triangle, where they retold tales from their past lives and how they died.


This event ran as part of the Imagine Festival which was run by Martina Collender and the senior drama group.

Animal Farm - 2018's Summer Theatre Project


Directed by Rhiann Jeffrey and Co-produced by Garter Lane Arts Centre.

15-19 year old drama group.

2018’s 'Summer Theatre Project' was George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm, The purpose of the Summer Theatre Project is to give young people the opportunity to work as close to a real professional theatre experience as is possible, alongside a professional director. In 2018, Rhiann Jeffrey, a Belfast based Theatre Director worked with the young people on one of George Orwell's best known works ANIMAL FARM adapted by Peter Hall.

Co-produced in association with Garter Lane Arts Centre, ANIMAL FARM previewed on Thurs Aug 23rd, and ran on Fri Aug 24th, Sat Aug 25th, Thurs Aug 30th, Fri 31st August as well as Sat 1st of Sept 2018.

Artists: Rhiann Jeffrey, Martina Collender, Dermot Quinn, Jess Rowell, Richard Collins and Eadaoin Walsh

WYA Summer School - 2018


Under the Ocean was 2018's Summer School theme and over the course of a week, fifty young campers between the ages of 5 - 13, got to explore this theme, exploring their imaginations through the medium of Art.


From Monday the 16th to Friday the 20th of July these happy campers, spent a fun filled week learning Drama, Dance, Storytelling, Story Making, Art, Film-making, Creative Writing, Drumming and Circus Skills from the highly skilled tutors who run our workshops and some local artists.

The event wrapped up on Friday where the young campers got to perform, there new talents in front of there parents.


The WYA Summer School will be returning in 2019, more news will be available next summer.



Weird, Wacky an Wonderful


Written by Ollie Breslin and Directed by Enda Moran

Expect Mayhem, Expect Madness when Enda Moran puts together Young Performers and Circus Professionals for a new show specially for SPRAOI 2018. 'Weird, Wacky and Wonderful' blends Circus, Dance and Theatre to create a fantastic performing arts piece, for three performances only.


Seamie saw a traveling circus show when he was a child and he now wants to go back there once again.  People say he’s strange, but maybe he’s just a bit different? 


This world premier 'Weird, Wacky and Wonderful' will be running on Gladstone Street on:


·         Friday the 3rd of August at 4 P.M.

·         Saturday the 5th of August at 3 P.M.

·         Sunday the 5th of August at 3 P.M.

Artists: Enda Moran, Mégan Ní Mheachair, Niall Bergin, WYA Circus Team & WYA Youth Actors


Resourced by: Waterford City and County Council

The Christmas Wish


Written and Directed by Martina Collender, 
Performed by the 15 to 19 year old Youth Drama Members

The play follows the story of the O'Neill family, who as well as feeling the panic to get everything ready for Santa Clause are in the middle of moving house. In the mist of the chaos and panic is Lilly and Tommy there children. Tommy is counting down the minutes until Christmas days arrives with excitement, but there's a problem with Lilly...she's after turning into a teenager. Lilly has lost her Christmas Spirit, she doesn't care about her family or hates this stupid season. and stuck with the task of clearing out the attic, she finds her old toys.


With Christmas magic in the air, Lilly's toy's come to life for one night only. Lilly's toys have one night only to remind her of who she is, before she starting to pretend she was something she wasn't. Her toys take her on a magical trip of Christmas memories and hope against hope they can restore Lilly's believe in Christmas and herself before it's too late.  

Performed on the 20th and 21st of December 2017 in The Arch.

If The Lights Change


Written by Martina Collender, Directed by Liam Meagher. Co-produced by Garter Lane Arts Centre.


15-19 year old drama group.

This flagship production has been going 20 years now and gives young people the opportunity to work intensively on a play with a professional director. The six-week process culminates with a week of performances at Garter Lane Arts Centre (22nd to 26th August).


‘If The Lights Change’ looks at the story of a young girls life and her reflections as she reaches adulthood.


Artists: Liam Meagher, Martina Collender, Becky Phelan and Dermot Quinn


Resourced by: Waterford City & County Council

Mrs Montgomerys Tale of the Travelling Circus


Mrs Montgomery’s Tale of the Travelling Circus’ 

Written by Martina Collender and Directed by Enda Moran

July 7th - 9th 2017

Mrs Montgomery, and her Travelling Circus of wonders, wow-ser’s, pow-ser’s, twirlers, tricksters, magic makers, clowning abouter’s, dancers, delighters, ponder-thoughter’s, flipper flappers, thinker-thanker’s, wandering wonder’s, magical humans, have seen every single land in the entire world for over two thousand, five hundred years, eleven months, twenty three days, and seven hours. They gathered the best of the best-est circusers to delight and smile create all over the world. Now they’ve landed in Waterford to shine and surprise all they meet. All couldn’t be happier in their circus world of travelling days…….but, because there’s always an “if” or a “but” and you can’t bet your bottom dollar it’s rarely anything good…some of the circus recruits are beginning to ponder…and wonder….and hope they're wrong, but can’t stop the seed of thought that’s growing bigger and bigger with every beat of their steps: Is there any place for the Circus in this modern world??? Is the circus too set in its ways of the same old tricks? Will their circus, their home, their livelihood survive?


With worry growing and Mrs Montgomery working double triple time to rally the troops and rise up spirits, all eyes are falling with heavy pressure on Mrs Montgomery, the young son of the two magic dreamers, hope believers, circus creators, to take over the circus. The Tick Tock of the clock is getting louder and the pressures on, for will he rise to the challenge of taking over his parents beloved circus, and with the rest of circus putting on pressure because the circus after all is their home….or will his lack of belief in the circus, see this as the last ever show? 

Friday 7th July:

12noon New Street Gardens

4pm Peoples Park - Near the Playground

Saturday 8th July:

12noon Butler Community Centre St. Johns Park 

4pm Fenor Play Park (on the Astro Turf)

Sunday 9th July: 

12noon Tramore Playground, Canon's Field Tramore

4pm Tramore 'All Aboard Inclusion Play Park Lake Lands, Tramore (near the Prom) 

Brought to you in association with Waterford City and County Council Arts Service.

28 Hours - Fundraiser


28 Hours – Fundraiser


28 Hours for Waterford Youth Arts was a major fundraiser in Garter lane Theatre.
Some of the best of Waterford's local adult theatre actors, directors, writers and crew alongside local musicians, filmmakers, poets and dancers got together to create a wonderful mix of short plays, performances, film, dance, songs and poetry.


The selling feature of this event was that, the artists involved only had 28 hours to create, write and rehearse for this unique show, most of the participants for this event were either ex-members of WYA or supporters of their work and because of the hard work and effort put in by these artists it turned out to be a fantastic night full of fun for all the family.


The fundraiser ran on Saturday the 20th of January 2017 in Garter lane.

Horrible Historic Trails 2016


Meet the Ghosts of Waterford’s Past

As part of Imagine Arts Festival local youth theatre group Waterford Youth Arts present ‘Horribly Historical Trails’ by Martina Collender.


This show was specially commissioned to coincide with the onset of Halloween.

Uncover the truly sinister past of Waterford City’s streets with Horribly Historical Trails a promenade play.

In this play we the audience where guided by the Night Watchman (local actor Jamie Power) on our supernatural adventures around the city. Discover the stories of the ghosts who roamed our paths, from the spirits of Strongbow and Aoife to Crotty the Highway Man be prepared to be scared as we cross into the underworld.

This play ran from Tuesday the 25th of October to Friday the 28th of October.

Please reload

© 2020  Waterford Youth Arts 

T. +353 51 879377