Theatre in Schools Scotland project to double output and perform to 20,000 children

Children from Tillicoultry Primary meet actors at the launch of Theatre in Schools Scotland's new programme. Four new productions will tour to primary schools across Scotland in 2017/18. Photo: Julie Howden
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The Theatre in Schools Scotland project will double its capacity in its second year.

It will stage four touring productions in its second year. Organisers have also revealed they are planning to make further external commissions in the third year of the scheme.

The pilot project was set up in 2016 to create and test a touring and producing model that could ultimately bring one piece of high-quality theatre to every schoolchild in Scotland, each year.

It will tour two productions from partners Catherine Wheels and Visible Fictions and a production by Rosalind Sydney in autumn 2017. A new work, How to Fix a Broken Wing, by Pete Collins for Catherine Wheels, will tour in the spring 2018.

This is expected to almost double the capacity of the TISS project, performing to around 20,000 children and teachers at primary schools throughout Scotland over this period.

In addition to the performances, the project is developing a continuing professional development program that will encourage teacher engagement through ongoing CPD events and consultations.

The project is also opening its touring model to new partners. It has put out an open call, with a deadline in August this year, for an existing work by a Scotland-based artist or company that it will commission for touring in autumn 2018.

TISS is a partnership between Imaginate, the national organisation for children’s theatre in Scotland, and the National Theatre of Scotland, which has built extensive rural touring capability over the last 10 years.

Paul Fitzpatrick, Imaginate’s chief executive, said he is looking forward to applying what has been learned from the first year of the project to year two.

He said: “I think we’ve proved that we can break down the geographic and economic barriers that prevent engagement with the arts. We have been able to give children access to new stories, new voices and new experiences.

“Feedback from pupils and teachers has shown that Theatre in Schools Scotland makes theatre relevant, exciting and accessible and enriches the lives of children across Scotland.”

TISS website