Over the last few weeks we've been all over Islington running recruitment and taster workshops in schools and other settings, looking for new members of ICT.
It's a really important part of our year - part of what makes us different is that we want to work with young people who would never otherwise get the chance or who might never have even thought about it, rather than those with the get up and go, or the parents or connections, to come to us of their own accord.
So every September we work with all Heads of Drama in Islington to identify those young people who they think will really benefit from working with us. We run workshops, visit drama classes and put the word out to teachers, youth services and colleges.
Heads of Drama nominate some students from their school who then come to what we call a selection workshop. These are fun 2 hour sessions which gives us a chance to see how different people work together, who is being brave and really stretching themselves and who might challenge us in new ways were they to join our young companies.
More than 100 people have come to the workshops so far (the Speakeasy workshop is on Friday) and we've offered 20 new places in both Islington Youth Theatre (our 12-16s) and Work in Progress (16-19). To all those who we can't fit in (and it's an agonising decision every year) we send a comprehensive list of other companies they might want to join and - this year - an invitation to come and work with us on a new project starting at Platform in November. More on that soon.
For those that do get in, they get the double satisfaction of having been nominated by their teachers and then chosen to join us. It means that they join feeling proud and recognising the opportunity as something to be valued and cared for. Which in turn helps keep them committed and making great theatre.
The new Work in Progress company start work on Thursday, with an action packed term ahead of them. Islington Youth Theatre start work on devising a new play next Monday. Speakeasy, meanwhile, get going next week.