The Ulidian Youth Drama Group started life as the ‘YMCA Players’ in Drumahoe YMCA in 1995. It was started by volunteer facilitator John Magowan to address the lack of arts provision for young people in the Waterside. The group quickly grew and in 2000 it moved to the newly built Waterside Theatre and has been resident there ever since.
Gemma Walker has been the group’s lead facilitator since 2007 and is a trained and highly experienced theatre maker and performer. She has skills in street theatre, clowning, physical theatre, improvisation, devising, storytelling and is trained in the world renowned Meisner Technique (Impulse Company London, New York).
Joining Ulidian Youth Drama Group means….
Being a part of a safe and creative environment for young people throughout the city (regardless of race, religion, gender, disability/ability, social background).
We focus on collaboration, not competition and believe in working together in a brave and generous way.
"I was a shy, introverted child due to being bullied and this group really pulled me out of a hard time and gave me a creative outlet."
"All the work was created by us. Whatever our interests or skill sets were we were listened to and encouraged. These skills and ideas were then incorporated into a piece we performed."
"It gave me the support and confidence on and off stage that I needed and to this day I am thankful for having been a part of this group."
"I had just moved from Poland to Northern Ireland. I had no friends and lacked in confidence. [Ulidian] is a very special place for me and I will forever be grateful to Gemma, who helped me to build up my confidence, improve my acting skills and creativity. It allowed me to be MYSELF and become a better version of myself too."
"Thanks to Ulidian Drama Group I am open-minded, creative, confident, positive, energetic and enthusiastic."