Should youth theatre have artistic and social responsibilities?
Hui Shu-ning, artistic director of Shu Ning Presentation Unit:
'There are two kinds of youth theatres in Hong Kong: those with a veteran artist to guide the youngsters in the production; and those that comprise voluntary young people gathering for their love of drama.
'We're of the first type. Most of the youngsters who join our workshops don't have experience. We have to train their dramatic skills, hold rehearsals and get them involved in the production. Different messages can be easily conveyed during the process. So, I think it's better for youth theatres of this kind to bear certain social responsibilities, because the ideas and thinking methods you teach them will accompany them as they grow up. We focus mainly on current affairs and social issues. We want them to feel more responsible.
'Artistically side, youth theatre should provide opportunities for youngsters to explore different production methods and drama forms. That's what we've been doing for years. I don't expect each one of them to become an artist, but we want them to understand that artistic creation can be part of their everyday life.
'We hope, with our theatre workshops, that youngsters can build up their self-identity and enjoy greater confidence.'