J.Productions in association with Passion Pit Theatre presents: 


Youth Theatre Tuscany 


A magical 5-day summer theatre course for 16-17 yr. olds in the heart of rural Tuscany with award-winning theatre practitioners Justin Butcher & Matilda Reith and the program logistics Coordinator, Julia Holden.


Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso


Energy, imagination, curiosity, passion, sensitivity, rebellion … sound a bit like a teenager? Or maybe like an artist? Or maybe both. Youth Theatre Tuscany is seeking teenage artists to join a magical, off-piste theatre bootcamp for five days in July 2021. The program instruction includes:


  • daily workout for voice, body and imagination, incorporating singing and movement work
  • individual tuition in acting & performance technique 
  • drama games, role-play, improvisation, storytelling, comedy and immersive theatre workshops
  • small group work on devised scenes
  • ensemble work on a one-act play, with a final day performance
  • One minute monologue recorded and edited for show reels for all participants (video or audio)


Our warm and welcoming setting is the Podere dell’Amore, a beautiful 16th-century farm villa in the heart of the Val d’Elsa region of Tuscany, with commanding panoramic views of the Tuscan hills. The Podere has its own swimming pool and tennis court, traditional bread/pizza oven and barbecue, large vegetable garden, patios and terraces, 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, Internet access, and a spacious ground floor sitting room.


Here in medieval Tuscany, where some of the world’s greatest artists were born, we invite you to escape from schoolwork and social media for five days and embark on a wild creative journey into a world of make-believe and, who knows, discover a side of yourself you never knew before. Oh, and swim under the stars, jump into rivers, sunbathe, play tennis, make pizzas and forever friends.  


Practical Information:


The group will be limited to 8-10 participants. COVID protocols, current at the time of the program, will appy.



The total program cost will be €1150 plus VAT.

This includes:

  • 3 daily meals (homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner: prepared with locally sourced ingredients and where possible from the kitcern garden). Packed lunch where a half trip is envisaged;
  • 1 to  2-person bedrooms;
  • Supplied bed linens and bath towels;
  • Week activity Schedule on arrival; 
  • Transportation to and from Colle Val d’Elsa* and/or to and from the Pisa/Florence airports;
  • 2-3 Field trips will be included in the program including a trips to either Siena; Florence, San Gimignano or Volterra depending on season and local events on offer;
  • Large 6 X 16 m. swimming pool in summer months;
  • Tennis court and all tennis equipment (rackets and balls) for use during free time.


*A regular autobus is available from Florence Central Station to Colle Val d’Elsa.


Students will be required to look after their rooms and no pets will be allowed. 

For anyone with allergies to cats please note there are a number of cats living close to the property (a joy to watch for cat lovers) however they are not permitted to enter the house. 


Your tutors are British playwright, actor and director JUSTIN BUTCHER and theatre director MATILDA REITH, who have worked in theatre, TV, radio and film all across the world with artists of every age. 


JUSTIN BUTCHER is a playwright, actor, director, musician, producer and creative consultant. Writing credits include the multi-award winning Scaramouche Jones, originally starring Pete Postlethwaite, the 2003 hit anti-war satire The Madness of George Dubya, the acclaimed Go To Gaza, Drink The Sea and six plays for BBC radio. His latest play, The Devil’s Passion, was broadcast on BBC R3 in December 2017, starring David Suchet in the title role. 


He holds BA and MA Honours degrees in Classics Greats from Oxford University and is an Honours Graduate of Drama Studio London. As actor, he has worked all over the world in theatre, film, TV and radio, with credits including: Electric Dreams: Impossible Planet (Channel 4/Amazon US, directed by David Farr)

Let me Go (award-winning new feature film, starring Juliet Stevenson, directed by Polly Steele)

Mary Barton (BBC R4)

Zindabad (Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford) 

The Taming of the Shrew (Nottingham Playhouse)

The End of the Affair (Salisbury Playhouse)

Buddy (Victoria Palace & Strand Theatres)

Justin has taught students of every age from primary school to university, directed school theatre productions and concerts and, as a faculty member of Drama Studio London for a number of years, directed drama students in numerous productions, as well as classes in audition technique, comedy and singing.  


CLARA FRANCESCA is a multi-lingual, international touring “philosopher of the heart making art”. She holds a double bachelor’s degree in laws & Biomedical Sciences from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and an inaugural alumni member of New York City’s SITI Company’s, specializing in Suzuki, Viewpoints, and Alexander Technique. Teaching Artist credits include NY TownHall, East Village fr. Jean Cocteau Rep, Acting Antics, Australian Shakespeare Company. She is a two-time guest adjudicator for the Mildura Eisteddfod Speech & Drama Festival. Awards include Best Actress Fairfax Melbourne Arts Centre for self-devised solo play, Best Performance SaraSolo International Festival, Best Actress two-time nominee Independent New York Theater Awards, Dante Alighieri Society three-time winner and co-lead in multiple films, including Cannes Film Festival Distribution Market recipient. She has parlayed this experience into a successful speech coaching business with an impressive client portfolio, specializing in speech-anxiety reduction. Clara continues to act in all mediums, notable IMDB credits and is a featured voiceover artist with household names Salvatore Ferragamo, Audible Books, Pokémon and Shiseido.  



Course Coordinator:

JULIA HOLDEN  as property owner of Podere dell’Amore, will manages the day-to-day operations of the Retreat. Julia is a Milan based theatre producer and the founding artistic director of J. Productions Milan, specializing in hosting and producing top quality English-language theatre in Milan and throughout Italy. She is a partner in one of Italy’s top IP law firms, Trevisan & Cuonzo, based in Milan, Rome, Parma and Bari. Her professional background as an Intellectual Property lawyer has positioned her to work closely within the creative industries in the fields of brands, trademarks and copyright. Since 2013, she has collaborated closely with award-winning British playwright Justin Butcher and many other renowned artists from the UK and Italy.