The short read
The National Association of Youth Theatre gives a quick overview of the principles that underpin Youth Theatre.

The long read
Youth Theatre: Drama for Life gives a useful overview of what youth theatre is, its history and context as well as tips, ideas and exercises for practitioners.

Many regional reps and mainstream theatres established Youth Theatres during the 1970s, and in some communities where there wasn’t a theatre volunteers set up Youth Theatres themselves – Burnley Youth Theatre, for instance was one of these and is still thriving after 45 years. The focus was to provide exciting creative opportunities for young people and to help train the next cohort of theatre professionals. The Youth Theatres provided a way in to the industry for many who would not have had access to drama school, and built confidence for thousands of others. The traditional format was theatre skills development followed by rehearsal for performance.  Often plays were specially commissioned for the young people, and within a decade there were regular national festivals and the National Association of Youth Theatres was established. The Youth Theatre movement has inspired much of today’s youth focussed and adult participatory theatre with organisations like 20 Stories High offering a contemporary twist on the model.