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JYT tackles issues with #AfterFridayz

Published:Saturday | September 3, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Members of Jamaica Youth Theatre (JYT).

Following its 2016 summer theatre workshops, the Jamaica Youth Theatre (JYT) recently launched an online web series called #AfterFridayz. Written and produced by members of the JYT, #AfterFridayz is a youth-centred, issues-driven monthly video which dramatises situations and concerns affecting young people.

The videos are uploaded on the group's social-media platforms of Facebook and YouTube on the first of each month. Episode one, Close Call, which was launched on August 1, has already garnered 27,000 views on Facebook alone. The current episode (for September), Fitting In, looks at peer pressure among male teenagers in Jamaica.

According to youth writer/director Danar Royal, "Over the years, JYT has developed its own style of edgy YouTube videos tackling socio-cultural issues with themes such as gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS, cyberbullying and abuse of children. It is out of this interest and experience that we have decided to create the series #AfterFridayz."

Founded in 2004, JYT comprises young thespians from across the island, each with a passion for theatre. Members are recruited from the annual Secondary Schools' Drama Festival.

Royal, who is the writer of Fitting In, spoke about the creative process for #AfterFridayz. "We met as a group to identify relevant youth issues and discussed appropriate solutions, then we assigned writers, directors and crew to the project," he said.

The #AfterFridayz series can be seen on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jamaicayouththeatre.