The Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh has announced plans to hold open auditions and pitching sessions online as part of a lockdown programme that will also attempt to bring to life postponed productions in new formats.
The venue’s House Lights Up plans promise to connect with artists and audiences during its closure.
For the project Curtain Up, audiences are asked to create art works that will be used to form a patchwork "collective celebration" curtain of more than 1,000 such works that will be raised when the theatre reopens.
It is part of a wide-ranging engagement programme unveiled by the Lyceum, whose artistic director David Greig said he felt a responsibility to theatremakers across the country "to continue to engage with their ideas, to find new ways to encourage and engage with emerging artists and do all we can to keep the creative juices flowing".
The theatre is therefore holding open auditions for Scotland-based actors, featuring special slots for graduates who have missed out on their showcases this year.
They will begin next month and will be held by Greig, associate directors Zinnie Harris and Wils Wilson and producer Liz King.
The programme also includes creative ’speed dates’ for designers, choreographers and other creatives via video link with the Lyceum’s artistic leadership, as well as a ’pitch surgery’ for Scottish directors.
They will be able to talk through ideas to Greig and King, who will offer advice in preparing their pitches for the Scottish and UK theatre market.
Elsewhere, Greig’s new play Adventures with the Painted People, which was due to be produced by Pitlochry Festival Theatre this summer, is being recorded by BBC Radio 3 as part of the BBC’s Culture in Quarantine line-up. It is produced by Pitlochry, in association with the Lyceum, Radio 3 and Naked Productions.
It is the first of what the theatre hopes will be a collection of performances either created during lockdown or postponed from its stage programme, which will be shared in new formats.
The theatre is also inviting artists and audiences about life during lockdown for a "collective portrait of a world turned upside down".
A selection of letters will be read by actors and made into a podcast, while there are plans for the letters to form part of a one-off show that will reopen the theatre.
Greig said the Lyceum was in "hibernation", operating with a skeleton team and most staff on furlough.
"Theatres want to be full of people, stories and life, so the process of evacuating buildings, cancelling shows and contacting artists and audiences has been sad and sobering. But it has also made clear just how vital the connections we have with artists and audiences across the country are and how much all of us miss theatre being made in Edinburgh," he said.
He added: "We simply do not know when the day of reopening will come and what kind of changed world we will find when we next take to the stage. But while we are not making plays, we must not be closed to stories."