About Us

In 2016 Connections turns 21. As part of the anniversary celebrations we have created a digital memory bank to collect and share current and past participants’ and audiences’ stories. If you have taken part in or seen a Connections production since 1995, please share your personal stories, experiences, photos and films with us here:


Connections is the National Theatre’s annual festival of new plays for youth theatres and schools. The 2016 Connections cycle will involve:

  • 12 Writers
  • 500 Youth Theatre Companies
  • 10,000 Young People
  • 1200 Performances
  • 45 Partner Theatres
  • 40,000 Audience Members

Connections began 21 years ago when teachers and directors told us that they wanted exciting and challenging new plays for young actors. Since then the NT has commissioned and published more than 150 plays for Connections, giving young people aged 13-19 across the UK and Ireland access to the very best new writing for theatre.

Connections gives young people experience of professional theatre-making. Their experience mirrors that of a company producing a new play in any theatre in the country. They create marketing campaigns, design sets and costumes, operate lighting and sound boards, stage-manage their performances. In 2016, each company will experience performing in a leading regional theatre, at one of the Connections festivals around the country. 

Each year the Connections team travels the length and breadth of the country to support and encourage the participants – the drama teachers and youth theatre directors who take on the challenge of staging a new play, and the young theatre companies. Each year we are thrilled by the skill, creativity, commitment and passion that go into each production, often on a shoestring budget and a rehearsal schedule carved out around school commitments.

For more information on how to see Connections performances taking place at theatres across the UK click here.


The Buffini Chao Foundation
Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation
Jacqueline and Richard Worswick
Susan Miller and Byron Grote
Hays Travel Foundation
Faithorn Farrell Timms
and supporters of the Connections Appeal