Our work with Creative Development

The International Festival is dedicated to supporting emerging and established talent in Scotland, working with a range of practitioners on our Learning & Engagement projects to provide audiences and participants the best experiences, and providing artists the opportunity to develop their practice. We also work closely with those in primary, secondary and further education to provide learning opportunities for all.

The International Festival has also created the following range of opportunities to support talent development in Scotland:

Artist As Audience

In partnership with various partner networks, the Edinburgh International Festival offers artists, producers and creatives the chance to receive free tickets to shows in the International Festival programme that will be of interest to, invigorate and inspire their work. Many of the performances offered out to attend are also accompanied by post-show Q&As with the artists involved in the show, or networking opportunities with other participating artists.

We also seek to offer masterclass opportunities with visiting artists, providing connections between Scottish and International artists to share practice. All opportunities are free of charge with bursaries also available for contribution towards travel and carers costs to assist attendance at shows.

These offers aim to support local emerging and established artists, producers and creatives to engaging with the International Festival programme. In 2019 partner organisations were Edinburgh Performing Arts Development, Playwrights’ Studio, Scottish Drama Training Network, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland and The Workroom.

More about Artist As Audience:

Edinburgh Performing Arts Development

Following 2018’s success pilot programme, the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Performing Arts Development (EPAD) once again worked together to ensure that local performing artists and producers were able to benefit from the extraordinary programme of work that was presented during the Edinburgh International Festival.

We were delighted to be able to offer 60 artist members of the EPAD network up to two free tickets for a variety of productions across dance, theatre and opera. Tickets were allocated on a lottery basis, drawn randomly from all eligible applications, and all those provided with tickets were also invited to engage in post-show activities.

Playwrights' Studio

The Edinburgh International Festival were delighted to work with Playwrights' Studio Scotland for the first time to offer the chance for Scotland’s playwrights to attend performances in the Royal Court International Climate Crisis Residency, The Departure Lounge programme, as well as other International Festival shows.

We offered up to 2 free tickets for a variety of productions across dance, theatre and opera to 30 playwrights allocated on a lottery basis drawn randomly from all eligible playwrights who either had to be based in Scotland, or be a Scottish playwright based elsewhere.

Scottish Drama Training Network

Year two of our support for the emerging artists within SDTN’s The Network.

The Network is Scottish Drama Training Network’s Graduate Production Ensemble for acting, performance and technical theatre graduates from Scotland’s Colleges and Higher Education Institutions. In August 2019 they presented Brunch Club – a new co-production with critically acclaimed Scottish theatre company, Grid Iron.

To support their growth and development in their various fields, the International Festival provided the ensemble with tickets to a selection of shows across the programme including David Hare’s Peter Gynt and 1927’s highly anticipated new production Roots. Participants were also invited to a presentation by the International Festivals Learning & Engagement team to give an overview of the Festival and its programme.

To find out more about The Network Ensemble initiative, the history of the project and the significant value it offers emerging Scottish talent, head to the SDTN website.

The Work Room

The Work Room is an artist-led membership organisation whose members work in dance, movement and choreography, which seeks to provide support and advocacy for independent artists in Scotland.

In August members of The Work Room were offered the opportunity to attend a masterclass from Faso Danse Théâtre, the renowned company behind Kalakuta Republik which was staged as part of our 2019 You Are Here programme. Participants received a two-hour workshop with company members before being invited to see the full show later that day.

YT Director's Development Programme

The YT Directors’ Development Programme, presented by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland (YTAS), is giving experienced directors of youth theatre the opportunity to take part in a four-month long programme to hone new ideas and develop their creative practice. From August to November 2019 participants came together to view performances, take part in workshops, receive coaching, develop new projects with young performers and present works-in-progress. The programme is supported by and offered in partnership with the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society and the Traverse Theatre.

In August, the successful YT Director’s participants were offered tickets to a variety of performances at the International Festival, as well as the opportunity to meet with Learning & Engagement team members to discuss further the work of the Festival.

Further details about the YT Directors’ Development Programme can be found here.

Cross Currents

Cross Currents is a professional exchange and development programme for Scottish practitioners alongside their international counterparts. Responding to a need for support and development opportunities for arts creatives, Cross Currents provides time, space and an invigorating environment for sector leading creative producers and artists to refresh their current practice and consider their future potential.

In 2019 we presented the pilot year of Cross Currents, and working with our partners, designed and delivered a menu of activity over six days that included moments of reflection, debates, discussions, networking, masterclasses and provocations, all led by the topics and artistic excellence showcased through the 2019 International Festival programme.

Over the week, 36 artists and creatives built their own self-led pathway through a variety of sessions including academic options, artistic responses and performances from the International Festival programme, making sure the programme worked for them. Participants were from Russia, Pakistan, Singapore, Hungary, Canada, Palestine, South Africa, Italy, Brazil, India, China, Syria, Scotland and England.

Cross Currents is a joint initiative between University of Edinburgh, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, British Council, Federation of Scottish Theatre and a number of key creative individuals.

Navigating International Waters

Group of three adults rehearing and holding scripts while sat on in a rehearsal room
© Ryan Buchanan

The Edinburgh International Festival and National Theatre of Scotland collaborated on Navigating International Waters, an artist development opportunity supporting and enabling leading artists of the future to meet with their peers, to connect and see a curated programme of Edinburgh International Festival productions.

Navigating International Waters offered five selected performance makers from Scotland’s ethnic minority communities who lead their own work in the fields of live performance, theatre, dance or music, the opportunity to connect with each other, the International Festival programme, and Associate and Artistic Directors of the National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival.