HOW BYT began

Founded in 1990 by Chris Rooke.

BYT was founded back in 1990 as part of the newly founded Performing Arts Development Service (PADS) based on Grove St next to Barnsley FC. Since then it has grown and developed to become the amazing group that it is now.

It was initially formed to give the young people of Barnsley the opportunity to enjoy and experience the wonder of performing. At the time there weren’t that many drama groups for young people in the area and BYT was an instant success.

It offered young people many different experiences: the chance to meet others from varied backgrounds around the borough and make new friends; to work together as part of a group in creating a performance; to give them something amazing to do on an evening; to have fun!; to develop their confidence; to introduce others to the joys of drama; to enjoy being young and unleash their potential.

As part of this BYT began to tour plays and musicals to primary schools throughout Barnsley every Summer as well as performing for parents and other members of the community at local theatres, and these proved to be a great success – a hit with students and parents alike.

At the same time the group attended Drama festivals over the Summer holidays in Cornwall, London and Edinburgh where the group had to camp out and even cook for themselves! There were also the amazing Weekend London Theatre Trips to see West End Sows and take part in Workshops – as well as taking in the sights of London itself.

These opportunities and activities offered to the children weren’t there before BYT was founded and it’s being able to provide such experiences and adventures for the young people of Barnsley and knowing how much they benefit from them that makes BYT such a fantastic institution!!

BYT is still going strong after all these years! Now in the safe care of Lindsey Barclay and based at Darton academy .

Long may it continue!!


Our mission is to to get children and young people in the Barnsley area involved and taking part in drama, boosting their confidence and social skills while having fun making big productions!

We aim to develop workshops that are fun and engaging, as we believe this is when learning is done best.

When and where

Barnsley Youth Theatre runs every Tuesday 5.30 -7pm at Darton Academy term time only.

We are always looking for new member between the ages of 7 and 18.

(Due to COVID-19 in person workshops have been replaced with online zoom workshops.)

BYT Ethos

Our ethos is to operate an ‘open door’ policy and welcome new members to the Youth Theatre without selection or audition.

Barnsley Youth Theatre Was founded in 1990 from then on the group rapidly grew in numbers and reputation performing at least one major production per year in schools and theatres around Barnsley to increasingly larger audiences. The group has continued to grow and develop to become one of the largest, most successful and respected Youth Theatres in the region.

Today the Youth Theatre is based at Darton Academy, (previously known as Darton College) in a brand new school building, where there are different groups suited to children and young people from the ages of 7 to 18.

Outreach/ schools workshops

BYT offer a multitude of services including DIE (drama in education) and TIE (theatre in education) programs. These services can be tailored to specific topics/ needs or selected from our backlog of programs in line with different DFE programs of study, such as the Citizenship program of study or (RSE) Relationships and Sex education. For more information regarding services/ bookings email us at: info@barnsleyyouththeatre.co.uk.