Scottish Youth Theatre partnership aims to inspire theatre-makers

October 10, 2023

The Scottish Youth Theatre will work in partnership with NESCol, Aberdeen Arts Centre and Aberdeen Performing Arts to deliver a series of theatre-making workshops to young artists from the area this month.

The programme is designed to equip participants with the vital skills they need to enter the creative industries.

In Shapeshift Aberdeen, a group of 20 local young artists will work alongside artist, facilitator and director Sally Charlton and local emerging producer Annabel Lunney to explore innovative approaches to devising theatre and creating new work together from scratch.

Scottish Youth Theatre’s Creative Director Rikki Payne reflected: “It’s brilliant to be working with young theatre artists in Aberdeen. So much theatre resource is located in the Central Belt but there’s a wealth of creativity and passion here as well as world class performance venues and spaces. This is the just the start of our journey in Aberdeen. Watch this space for more Scottish Youth Theatre projects in the city in 2024 and beyond!”

Annabel Lunney, Trainee Artist on the project, added: “For young Aberdonian theatre-makers like me trying to forge a career in the industry and remain local, Shapeshift is an incredibly exciting project. It offers a valuable opportunity to observe and learn from inspiring creative professionals like Sally without the need to leave the city, and to connect a community of likeminded local creatives, groups and arts organisations who can collaborate again in the future.

“Working together, we’ll develop a better understanding of the kinds of work young creatives are looking to make in the city, what resources and structures we need to facilitate that work and how we can together build a better arts ecosystem in Aberdeen. I’m really looking forward to it!”

Neil Cowie, Principal of North East Scotland College, said: “Supporting the creative industries is a major part of our role as a college and we’re very proud of the impact former NESCol students are having in the world of theatre, on and off stage.

“Nurturing, encouraging and inspiring the next generation is vital to build that flow of talent. We’re looking forward to playing our part in Shapeshift Aberdeen, supporting all who take part as they learn and develop in such exciting and engaging disciplines.”

Susan Whyte, Head of Creative Engagement at Aberdeen Performing Arts, said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with Scottish Youth Theatre on their Shapeshift project.

“This project will bring an exciting, high-quality opportunity to young creatives in the North East and underpins Aberdeen Performing Arts’ commitment to working in partnership with organisations who can enrich the experiences of our aspiring young artists, supporting them to reach their full potential. We want our young people to be inspired and for their creative spark to be ignited, motivating them to explore opportunities for future careers in the arts and this project promises to do exactly that.”

The project is inspired by Scottish Youth Theatre’s conversations with young artists during the Encounters tour across the North and North East of Scotland in March 2023. Young people shared their experiences of the gaps in provision, networking and general opportunities to ‘make theatre’. Through inspiring exercises, Q&A sessions and skills workshops with professionals in the industry, Shapeshift Aberdeen will provide the young people with a safe space to discover and experiment with new approaches to theatre-making.

The workshops will take place at His Majesty’s Theatre Studio from 16-20 October. You can find out more and book your place by visiting the Scottish Youth Theatre website. The deadline for registration is Sunday (8 October).