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Under embargo until Wednesday 1 June 2016 at midday
National Theatre of Scotland and Imaginate
in partnership with Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Starcatchers and Visible Fictions,
launch Theatre in Schools Scotland; an exciting new initiative for theatre in Scotland’s schools.
Supported by The Scottish Salmon Company and Arts & Business Scotland
Theatre in Schools Scotland is a new initiative, established to support and develop the provision of theatre in
Scotland’s schools, with the ultimate aim of ensuring that every child in Scotland receives - at their nursery or
school - a minimum of one performing arts production, per year, as a core part of their education.
Theatre in Schools Scotland is developed by Imaginate, the national organisation in Scotland, which promotes,
develops and celebrates theatre and dance for children and young people and the National Theatre of
Scotland, in partnership with leading performing arts companies/organisations for children and young people;
Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Visible Fictions and Starcatchers.
The initiative has been created initially as a pilot project, which will expand over the next three years, exploring
different models for touring theatre into schools.
During this first year, Theatre in Schools Scotland will tour two award-winning, internationally recognised
Scottish productions, Martha presented by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company and Shopping for Shoes by
Visible Fictions. The tour will visit 25 local authorities, with still potential for more, from 15 August to 14
October 2016. The shows will play in over 30 primary schools across the tour delivering four performances per
school. Around 15,000 children in Scotland will see Theatre in Schools Scotland performances this year.
Scottish performing arts for children and young people is a success story. Over the last twenty years, thanks to
the influence of Imaginate and the creativity and success of companies like Visible Fictions, Starcatchers and
Catherine Wheels; Scottish theatre for children and young people is generally accepted as some of the best in
the world, with productions being celebrated both in Scotland and globally.
Theatre in Schools Scotland aims to ensure that all children in Scotland have the opportunity to access this
world class children’s theatre in their own school.
The National Theatre of Scotland, currently celebrating its 10th birthday, has developed a unique model for
touring high quality work and for creating innovative ways of touring the length and breadth of Scotland
including hard to reach communities. Theatre in Schools Scotland will enable Scotland’s leading creators of
children’s work to collaborate with the National Theatre of Scotland to share resources and deliver this vision
across Scotland.
In addition to the performances, the initiative will also develop and encourage teacher engagement through
ongoing education events in the pilot years. Theatre in Schools Scotland will maximise current public
investment in the arts through wider dissemination of existing high quality work, delivering creative and
aesthetic education for teachers and providing new tools to deliver the Curriculum for Excellence. The benefit
of young people’s engagement with the arts is well-documented. There is significant research to confirm that
access to theatre and cultural experience enriches lives and impacts positively on health and well-being.
Theatre in Schools Scotland has developed an unique partnership model to bring these theatre productions
into schools. The tour is cross funded by the Scottish Government funded National Theatre of Scotland,
Creative Scotland funded theatre organisations, local authorities and individual schools.
This initial TiSS pilot is also supported financially by The Scottish Salmon Company and Arts & Business
Craig Anderson, Managing Director at The Scottish Salmon Company says
“We are delighted to support the Theatre in Schools Scotland initiative. We have operations in the Hebrides
and on the West coast of Scotland and therefore have a solid understanding of the challenges of working in
remote and rural locations. This project closely mirrors our own values with its community focus and ensures
that the arts reach remote and rural areas of Scotland, which we are firmly behind.”
David Watt, Chief Executive, Arts & Business Scotland says
“Theatre in Schools Scotland is a fantastically worthwhile initiative that Arts & Business Scotland is proud to
support through the New Arts Sponsorship Grants programme. This is a great example of collaborative working
which will deliver huge cultural benefits for a great number of children the length and breadth of Scotland”
This year, pupils in over 30 primary schools across Scotland will enjoy performances of Martha, presented by
Catherine Wheels Theatre Company and Shopping for Shoes by Visible Fictions.
Martha, written by Andy Manley, Gill Robertson and Annie Wood, has been performed nearly 300 times since
2001 in Canada, USA (New York), Scotland, England, The Netherlands, China, Singapore and Australia. Martha
is a warm and funny show about a stubborn and eccentric woman who lives on her own by the sea and doesn’t
want any friends. But one day a mischievous goose turns up and Martha’s life is never the same again.
Shopping for Shoes, written by Tim Crouch, has toured North America, Canada, Ireland and Germany since
2007 and won the Victor Award at IPAY and the Brian Way Award. Shopping for Shoes is a witty, fast-paced
performance about Siobhan, who is passionately politically aware and Shaun who is passionate about his vast
collection of shoes. A heart-warming tale of new found love, dog poo and…shoes.
The following local authorities and organisations are working with Theatre in Schools Scotland this year:
Aberdeen City Council, Argyll and Bute Council, North East Arts Touring Ltd, Clackmannanshire Council,
Dumfries & Galloway Council, East Ayrshire Council, Brunton Theatre and East Lothian Council, East
Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure, Edinburgh City Council and Festival and King's Theatres Edinburgh,
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar/Western Isles Council, Falkirk Council, Fife Council, Glasgow Life and Glasgow City
Council, High Life Highland, North Lanarkshire Council, Orkney Council, Perth Council and Horsecross Arts,
Renfrew Leisure and Paisley Arts Centre, Borders LIVE and Touring part of Live Borders, Dundee Rep Theatre,
East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust, Shetland Council, South Ayrshire Council; Stirling Council,
Howden Park Centre and West Lothian Council.
Confirmed schools include: Gardenrose Primary School, Maybole; Baird Memorial Primary School,
Cumbernauld; Fallin Primary School, by Stirling; Langless Primary, Falkirk; Dales Park Primary School,
Peterhead; Sound Primary School, Shetland; Shawbost Primary, Isle of Lewis; Sgoil nan Loch, Isle of Lewis; St
Patrick's Primary School; Dumbarton; Redwell Primary School, Alloa; Fenwick Primary School, Kilmarnock;
Eyemouth Primary School, Eyemouth.
Paul Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, Imaginate says
“It’s our aspiration that ultimately every child in Scotland will see world-class theatre in their school every year.
I’ve been really inspired by how the local authorities, the National Theatre of Scotland, the partner companies;
Visible Fictions, Catherine Wheels and Starcatchers, our sponsor The Scottish Salmon Company and Arts &
Business Scotland have got behind the project which is about giving children in Scotland the very best childhood
they can have.”
Laurie Sansom, Artistic Director, National Theatre of Scotland says
“I believe it is essential that the Scottish Theatre community takes world-class work that's being made in this
country, regularly, to children of every age. I don't think we can underestimate the increase in well-being and
academic attainment it provides, and by touring to schools, we are also growing our audiences for the future.
This cannot be achieved by the Scottish Theatre community in isolation. Theatre in Schools Scotland has found
passionate partners across the arts, business, education and the Scottish government, to make this ambitious
idea a reality for Scottish school children this year. I truly hope that it is model that we can sustain from year to
year going forward"
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs says
“Scotland is recognised internationally for its outstanding record in promoting children and young people’s
theatre. I welcome the Theatre in Schools Scotland initiative which will see up to four performances per school
in 25 local authorities this year and I’m confident the acts will be enjoyed by pupils and teachers.
“The Scottish Government shares the widespread understanding that performing and visual arts help young
people’s mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing. These experiences have a clear role to play in
providing young people with opportunities to be creative and imaginative as part of a rich education within
Curriculum for Excellence.”
Maureen Allan, Headteacher, Preston Street Primary says
"We value the opportunities that high quality productions in school provide; enabling our children to develop
their imagination, creativity and problem solving in a fun way. Developing these important areas through
drama impinges on all areas of the curriculum - and beyond."
Join the conversation: #theatreinschoolsscotland
Emma Schad - Press Manager – [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)227 9016 M: +44 (0)7930 308018
Jo Lennie – Publicist – [email protected] /07708 980918
Follow the National Theatre of Scotland’s press office on Twitter @NTS_press
Please contact the National Theatre of Scotland press office for images.
Notes to Editors
The National Theatre of Scotland is dedicated to playing the great stages, arts centres, village halls,
schools and site-specific locations of Scotland, the UK and internationally. As well as creating groundbreaking productions and working with the most talented theatre-makers, the National Theatre of
Scotland produces significant community engagement projects, innovates digitally and works
constantly to develop new talent. Central to this is finding pioneering ways to reach current and new
audiences and to encourage people’s full participation in the Company’s work. With no performance
building of its own, the Company works with existing and new venues and companies to create and
tour theatre of the highest quality. Founded in 2006, the Company, in its short life, has become a
globally significant theatrical player, with an extensive repertoire of award-winning work.
The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government.
Imaginate is the national organisation in Scotland, which promotes, develops and celebrates theatre
and dance for children and young people. Imaginate wants more children in Scotland to experience
work that is deeply engaging, innovative and inspiring. It believes that all children deserve the
opportunity to develop their creativity, emotional intelligence and reach their true potential.
wants more high quality children’s work made in Scotland, and so support artists with a year-round
programme of creative development. This includes a mix of events, training, residencies, mentoring
and special projects.
celebrates the best of children’s theatre and dance from around the world by producing the Imaginate
Festival which showcases performances that delight and inspire the young and young-at-heart. The
festival is also one of the best places for programmers from all over the world to see work of the very
highest standard.
Catherine Wheels Theatre Company is Scotland’s most prolific producer of work for children and
young people, having produced 26 new productions in 22 countries over the last 16 years. The
company has received 14 celebrated awards and 20 nominations. Catherine Wheels shows have toured
the globe with original productions, including innovative residencies in New York, when the promenade
show Hansel and Gretel took over the entire New Victory Theatre in 2009. The company was the first
Scottish children’s theatre company to perform at Australia’s Sydney Opera House, and has now played
at the iconic arts venue four times. In 2015 they returned to Arts Centre Melbourne, New Zealand’s
Auckland Arts Festival, and The Wallis in Beverley Hills. These repeat invitations reflect the high quality
of Catherine Wheels work.
Catherine Wheels are committed to bringing engaging work to as wide an audience as possible and
each year take one show on an extensive tour of Scottish schools. This year saw the company’s brand
new production of The Story of the Little Gentlemen reach 11,000 children in 78 schools across
Scotland, in addition to playing at Imaginate Festival, Edinburgh and Spark Festival, Leicester.
Starcatchers is a pioneering arts and Early Years organisation based in Scotland specialising in
performances and creativity for babies, toddlers and young children aged 0 - 5 and the adults who care
for them.
Starcatchers believes that arts and creativity has the power to transform and enrich the lives of
Scotland’s youngest citizens and their parents and carers.
Its vision is delivered through three different strands of activity designed to connect with babies,
toddlers, young children, parents, carers and Early Years practitioners in communities across Scotland.
Starcatchers makes beautiful, innovative productions with exceptional artists who specialise in work
for 0 - 5 year olds.
delivers engagement projects across Scotland placing artists directly into communities.
provides a programme of professional development opportunities for people who work with children
from Early Years workers and students to artists looking to broaden their knowledge of the Early Years
The organisation’s work nurtures young children’s creative and cognitive development, sparking their
imaginations through performances and engagement projects that are led by exceptional artists who
understand the needs of this unique audience.
Visible Fictions creates vibrant, high quality and accessible theatre for young people and adults alike.
Over the years, the company’s work has inspired and entertained audiences across the world – from
Broadway to schools in the Scottish Highlands – always aiming to challenge, excite and thrill. No two
Visible Fictions performances are alike but all guarantee an equally memorable and powerful
Visible Fictions are regularly invited to perform at the Imaginate Festival and other festivals across the
world. They have have collaborated with BBC Panorama and co-produced with BBC Scotland for BBC
Radio 4 and Scottish Opera.
Abroad the Company has co-produced with Danish ASSITEJ and were thrilled to be the first Scottish
theatre company to be invited to perform on Broadway with our production of Red Balloon. We have
collaborated with The Seattle Children’s Theatre and The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and The
Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in
About The Scottish Salmon Company
The Scottish Salmon Company is the leading producer of premium salmon with operations only in
Scotland. The company is engaged in all stages of the value chain from smolt production through
freshwater and marine farming to harvesting and processing, as well as sales and marketing activity. It
is dedicated to producing the highest quality Scottish salmon.All of the Scottish Salmon Company's
Farms and processing facilities are audited and approved by the internationally acclaimed Global G.A.P
accreditation scheme, which enshrines excellence in fish husbandry and animal welfare.
The Scottish Salmon Company supports sporting and cultural activities in the local communities where
its staff work and live. The company’s total staff number over 480 people, approximately 230 of whom
are employed across the Hebrides.
The main office is in Edinburgh, and The Scottish Salmon Company Limited is a subsidiary of The
Scottish Salmon Company PLC, which is listed on the Oslo Bors stock exchange.
Arts & Business Scotland (A&BS) is a national charity which encourages and promotes new and
sustainable collaborations between the creative and business sectors. It fosters dynamic cross sector
relationships to enable Scotland to benefit from a vibrant cultural community.
The New Arts Sponsorship (NAS) Grant programme encourages private sector sponsorship of cultural
activity in Scotland. Administered by A&BS and funded by the Scottish Government via Creative
Scotland it offers £1 for £1 match funding to cultural organisations which have secured sponsorship
from an eligible business.
In total, over £7 million has been invested in culture through NAS with Scottish Government
investment exceeding £3 million since the grant programme began in 2006.