At Watford Palace Theatre, we make the future.

We celebrate the creativity of local children and young people.

And thanks to generous investment from the Garfield Weston Foundation, this year we’re offering an even bigger range of fantastic opportunities to develop skills and make new friends, in a safe and friendly environment.

So, if you’re a young person, or the parent or carer of one, and looking to spark a lifelong passion for the arts, you’ll find all the information you need to kickstart your journey at the Palace.

Access and Inclusion

Watford Palace Theatre is an accessible building, with a lift to the second floor where our Palace Youth Theatre (PYT) sessions usually take place. Easily accessible toilets are available on both the ground and second floors.

Our workshop leaders and assistants create a relaxed, inclusive, and supportive environment where everyone can thrive. Session content, delivery style and exercises are easily adapted so that young people with access needs can participate fully. It’s important to note that we encourage, support and champion participants who identify as neurodivergent, disabled, learning disabled and D/deaf, those who are affected by mental health conditions, those who identify as part of the Global Majority, LGBTQ+ and the intersectionality of all these people groups. If you’re a young person (or the parent or carer of a young person) with a physical disability, learning disability, or who is a mental health service user, and you want to try a free taster session or check out our facilities, please contact us for an informal chat.

We also believe that finances should never be a barrier to participating in the arts, and so we offer bursary places to young people from low-income families. To find out more, please get in touch with the Take Part team.

Contact the Take Part team

Palace Youth Theatre (PYT) is a fun and safe space where young people can express themselvesdevelop a variety of skills, and make new friends. Groups work on a variety of projects, with performances for friends and family at the end of the term. No audition is required to join, and new members can try a free taster session before committing to the term fees.

PYT meets weekly during term time and consists of 3 professionally led youth theatre groups split by age category.

PYT 7-11s

Our PYT 7-11s focuses on confidence building, developing communication skills, and nurturing imagination through storytelling and drama games.

Key information

PYT 7-11s is on Saturdays during term time, between 9:45am – 11:30am. The group is led by Gemma-Marie Everest.

The cost for each term is £70.

Book now

PYT 11-14s

Our PYT 11-14s works to develop creativity and core drama and theatre-making skills, in a fun, supportive environment. Members develop their confidence, self-expression, and teamwork.

Key information

PYT 11-14s is on Saturdays during term time, between 11:45am – 1:30pm. The group is led by Gemma-Marie Everest.

The cost for each term is £70.

PYT 14-16s

Our PYT 14-16s is a creative and social space for young people to develop skills in theatre, filmmaking, and outdoor arts. The group work with professional creatives, gaining the benefit of their knowledge and expertise.

Recent projects that our PYT 14-16s have been involved in include performances at Imagine Watford, National Theatre Connections Festival, and screenings at the Watford Young Filmmakers Festival (now Hertfordshire Film Festival). Members have the exciting opportunity to work with professional artists and theatre practitioners, gaining the benefit of their knowledge and expertise.

Key information

PYT 14-16s meet on Tuesdays during term time, between 6.30pm – 8.30pm.

To express interest in joining our PYT 14-16s, please email us using the button below, adding ‘PYT 14-16s’ in the subject line.

I'm interested in PYT 14-16s

Our Young Orbital youth theatre group is free to 11–17-year-olds living in the WD25 postcode.

Meeting weekly during term time, the Young Orbital group develop confidence, team building and performance skills, in a fun, supportive environment with a focus on mentoring and wellbeing. Drama games and exercises are used to help nurture the imaginations of our Young Orbital members, with an end of term show for friends and family.

No audition is required to join, and refreshments are provided (at the in-person sessions).

Young Orbital is delivered in partnership with One YMCA and supported by Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, Watford Community Housing Trust, The Sylvia Adams Charitable Trust, Frank and Helen Neale and The Brian Maguire Charitable Trust.

Key information

Young Orbital takes places on Wednesdays during term time between 5pm – 7pm. The group is led by Clare Hanington.

Location: Orbital Community Centre, Haines Way, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD25 7QU.

Young Orbital is free to those aged 11-17 living in the WD25 postcode.

Register interest in Young Orbital

Youth Advisory Board

Excited to know more about theatre and the arts? Want to develop skills in leadership, mentoring and decision-making? Ready to be a changemaker and gain valuable volunteering experience with a charity?

If you’re aged between 16-25, Watford Palace Theatre needs your voice to help guide and shape our future direction.

To find out how to apply to become a member, hit the download button below.

We’re looking for young people aged 16-25 and local to the Watford and the Three Counties areas of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Buckinghamshire), to join our Palace Young Company (PYC). PYC offers collaborative opportunities to work alongside our professional theatre team, creating productions and performing on our stage, and beyond!

If you’re looking for a pathway into the creative industries, keen to develop your creative practice, learn new skills and find networking opportunities, then the PYC could be right up your street!

Contact us for more information

Celebrating the next generation of filmmaking talent, Hertfordshire Film Festival is an annual opportunity to create a film and see it showcased on the big screen at Watford Palace Theatre, alongside talks with leading film and TV industry experts for ages 11-17 and 18-25.

Film submissions for 2022 have now closed, but our 2023 dates will be announced shortly!

Produced in partnership with Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, the University of Hertfordshire and CathARTic Art. 

Visit the Hertfordshire Film Festival website

How do the taster sessions work? Should I bring anything?

It’s simply a normal PYT session that your young person can attend to help them decide if they like the class, before you commit to paying the terms fees.

Please complete a membership form and email it to us via the button below, at least 24 hours before the session. Your young person should wear comfy clothing, and as each session usually has a short break, bringing a drink and a snack is also a good idea.

Send us your membership form

How does the waiting list work?

If any of our groups are full, we’ll add your young person to a waiting list. We’ll contact you by email or phone, inviting your young person to a taster session as soon as a place becomes available at the beginning of the term.


My child behaves much older/younger than their age, can they go into a different group?

We recommend your young person stays in a group with others their own age. However, our groups all overlap by one year to allow for a small amount of flexibility when wanting to stay in a group with friends.


My young person has a Birthday during the term which will push them into the next PYT age bracket, how does that work?

We operate our age brackets based on the academic year the young person is in. For example, if they’re in Year 9, they’ll be 13-14 during this academic year and therefore will stay in the 11-14s group and, if they’re in Year 10, they’re 14-15 during this academic year, so they’ll be in the 14-19s group. This applies to all age brackets. Once they’re old enough, most members move up groups at the start of the new academic year in September.


My young person has special needs, will PYT be suitable for them?

Please refer to our Access and Inclusion statement.


How do I pay for the term?

Once you’ve registered for PYT or if you’re an existing member, you can book online or contact the Box Office via the details below.


What if I can’t afford PYT?

Please refer to our Access and Inclusion statement.


What's Young Orbital and how's it different to PYT?

Please visit our Young Orbital page for more information.


Following government advice on COVID-19, will you be continuing activity while the building is closed?

Our usual weekly term time sessions are running online via Zoom during this period of lockdown. Please visit our What’s On pages to find out more!