The very first 24-hour play took place in 1980 with the title Why Don’t You Grow Up?. After first being staged at Towneley High School in 1980, the musical Hair was performed at The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester as part of the Amateur Theatre Festival in 1981. This is the first time Burnley Youth Theatre was invited to perform outside of Burnley.

After much hard work and volunteer hours, the Quarry Theatre opened its doors to its first audience in 1983. This was also the year that Burnley Youth Theatre staged Paul Abbott’s first play The Fall and Death of Willie Blob.

Park was the first play to be toured around Burnley community centres in 1984. 1985 saw the first outreach project Getting to Know You – working with the South Asian community of Burnley. Fools paraded in Burnley Market Square, The Tempest was performed outdoors and Burnley Youth Theatre staged Paul Abbott’s play Male Model. In 1989 Burnley Youth Theatre took part in its first national festival – the National Youth Arts Festival in Ilfracombe, Devon.