There’s a warm light inside me. It’s buzzing, it kind of tickles. That feeling where you don’t know whether you’re about to laugh, cry or sneeze. Maybe it’s a gasp. But the light is in me, and it’s also in you. And if I bring my light to your light, they might start to buzz together and who knows what might happen from there? La Mama’s Youth Led Ensemble will endeavour to find out.

Facilitated by PhD candidate and theatre maker Paris Balla, these weekly workshops will be a chance for young people to come together and tell the stories that they want to tell with hope, silliness and bravery.

What to expect?

Every Monday night from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm, a group of teens will meet, play games, tell stories and make theatre that tries to help us make sense of the chaotic world around us. Paris is particularly passionate about puppetry, clowning and role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, so it is likely that these ideas will influence the activities in the initial workshops. Throughout the year there may be small performance outcomes around La Mama to help build our confidence and momentum towards a larger performance in 2023.

Who is the facilitator?

Paris Balla is a non binary theatre maker, playwright, educator, designer and PhD candidate with a passion for finding joy in unexpected places. Paris loves telling stories with and for young people with their play Owl and the Albatross premiering at Theatre Works in June on the VCE playlist. These workshops come with an academic backing as part of Paris’ PhD research in a project titled “Towards a practice of radical queer hope: Storytelling as future making in applied theatre.” This means that the concepts and methods included in the workshops are grounded in research and ethics approval from Monash University. Teens in the ensemble will have the opportunity to be a part of discussions about why theatre is important for young people and reflect on the ways in which it changes how they view the world around them. Paris’ research is grounded in play, joy and silliness and emphasises the importance of having a community around you when the world seems scary.

What we expect from you?

These weekly workshops will be best with consistent attendance. We know that obviously sometimes things come up, especially in ✨the times we are in✨, but we want to find an ensemble of young people who are committed to being there as much as possible.

How to be involved?

Express interest by filling in this form by the 25th of April.

Please note this is not an ‘application’ process it is more of a way to gather information and gauge interest. When filling in this form keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers and no experience is necessary to join in.

IF you don’t want to or can’t fill in this written form please send a video responding to the questions to:

After you have submitted the form/video, you will be contacted by Paris within a week who will find a time to have a short chat with you to see if you will be a good fit for the workshops. The workshops will have a capped capacity, so not everyone who applies will be guaranteed a place. All who put in an EOI will be contacted, and those who are invited to be part of the group will meet for our first session on the 2nd of May. If you have any other questions or need more information email Sophia Constantine via

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