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Theatre Workshop for Orkney’s Young People

Encounters is a new touring project offering free workshops to local young people and the chance to see a range of innovative performances by fellow young artists. The project will travel to Kirkwall Grammar School in Orkney, Lyth Arts Centre in Wick, North East College Scotland in Aberdeen and UHI Moray College in Elgin from 6-17 March.

For two weeks in March, Scottish Youth Theatre will be touring the North and North East of Scotland, bringing a van load of new performances, workshops and creative professionals to schools and colleges.

Young participants will have the opportunity to watch new solo performances made by emergi theatre makers Bethan Murray, Iman Akhtar, Jo Hunter and Lily Carmen Smith.

The workshops will be led by theatre maker Pete Lannon from award-winning company SUPERFAN, offering young people the opportunity to explore new ways of making theatre. Each day will be framed by a creative conversation with the young people to help shape Scottish Youth Theatre’s future programme.

Scottish Youth Theatre’s Creative Director Rikki Payne said:

“It’s not just about Scottish Youth Theatre offering performances and workshops to young people in the north of Scotland. It’s about us listening and understanding what young people’s creative needs are and how we can help meet them. If you live in Orkney, the cultural centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh can seem very remote. So, as a national company, we strive to bring these opportunities directly to them.”

Bethan Murray, who received her first commission to make solo work as part of Scottish Youth Theatre’s 2022 project Trajectories, reflects on her time with the company and what the support being part of Encounters means:

“This project and working with Scottish Youth Theatre has been an immeasurable help for me as an artist and on a personal level. Working with the company has allowed me to trial new thoughts and ideas in a safe and caring environment, helping me expand my practice and keep my creative work progressing. Going on tour will be such a great opportunity to see new places and be inspired by them to keep creating.”

Through its recent artistic programmes, Scottish Youth Theatre has worked hard to address the multiple barriers young artists experience when accessing the arts and beginning their careers in the industry – especially for young people in rural communities. From offering breakthrough commission models for emerging artists to free participatory workshops with local communities, Scottish Youth Theatre’s projects offer the chance for young people to explore the many ways you can make theatre and how connecting with like-minded individuals may be the spark they need to think about a future in the arts.

Jacky Hardacre, Chief Executive of Scottish Youth Theatre reflected;

“As a result of the pandemic, we know that in-person artistic opportunities have been too limited for too long. As a national company our goal is to collaborate, converse and learn from young artists and those interested in making theatre from every part of Scotland. Encounters gives us the opportunity to continue that dialogue with young people in the room and see how we can best support them at the start of their careers, and we’re looking forward to hearing what they’ve got to say!”

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