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20 08 2019 Eif Cross Currents Birds Of Paradise Gaelle Beri 14 Photo: Gaelle Beri

Our work with Talent Development

The International Festival is dedicated to supporting emerging and established talent in Scotland, working with a range of practitioners on our Learning and 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:

Scottish Arts Worker Discount

30% off Edinburgh International Festival tickets

Arts workers employed within Scotland saved 30% on tickets for some the most anticipated shows in the 2019 International Festival programme. Highlights included Peter Gynt, The Crucible, Orchestre de Paris and The Secret River. Offer is subject to availability and discount may not be available on top priced seats. You may be asked to show proof of eligibility on admission. Exclusions apply and the offer will be detailed on each individual event page in the discounts tab.

To be eligible for the Scottish arts workers discount you must be living and working in Scotland and have a valid membership of an entertainment union (BECTU, MU, Equity or Scottish Society of Playwrights) or a valid staff pass from a publicly funded arts organisation. Find out more.

Cross Currents

University of Edinburgh, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, British Council, Federation of Scottish Theatre

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 will provides time and space and an invigorating environment for sector leading creative producers and artists to refresh their current practice, and consider their future potential.

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, which will bring Scottish and International creatives together to talk, play, share and network.

Following in the footsteps of International Festival Encounters, Cross Currents will pilot from 19 – 24 August 2019.

Find out more 

Find out more about Cross Currents


Working with our partners to design and deliver a menu of activity over six days that will include moments of reflection, debates, discussions, networking, masterclasses and provocations, all led by the topics and artistic excellence showcased through the 2019 International Festival programme. Cross Currents participants will explore practice and approaches to making theatre from around the world, challenge individual creative processes, build international connections that will support future professional development and foster collaborations that could result in tangible outcomes.

Curated around the artistic programme, Cross Currents will be self-led by eclectic selection, each participant will have the option between different sessions opting for an academic, artistic response or discussion led route or a mix of all of the above throughout each day.

Participants can suggest topics for discussion/provocation which, where possible, will be integrated into a topical discussion, used in a Pecha Kucha style provocation or on a long table debate.

Who it is for:

  • Artist & Creative Producers who have been working professionally in the performing arts for 7+ years
  • Individuals who are keen to explore current practice, share new ideas
  • Individuals who have an interest in cultural politics and the relationship of the arts to our communities
  • Individuals who have a desire to share their expertise and contribute to Cross Currents programme and with their local community or organisation afterwards.

Applications for Cross Currents are now closed but you can find out more here.

Photo: Ryan Buchanan
Navigating International Waters

National Theatre of Scotland

Following last year’s partnership on The Scale of Female Ambition, this year the Edinburgh International Festival and National Theatre of Scotland collaborate on Navigating International Waters, a new 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.

More on Navigating International Waters

Navigating International Waters will offer 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:

  • Free tickets to a curated programme of Edinburgh International Festival shows
  • Post show networking meetings and connections with artists programmed in the Edinburgh International Festival
  • A place on the our Cross Currents Programme of artist focused development opportunities
  • A dedicated session with Associate and Artistic Directors of the National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival to discuss programming and organisational leadership
  • Dedicated one on one session with Engine Room Producer Anna Hodgart to discuss leading on projects, reflect on current practice and consider future project potential.
  • Financial contribution to travel and other expenses as agreed.


31 July 2pm - Introductory session with National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival Artistic Directors
4 August 2pmLa Reprise Histoire(s) du theatre (I) 
11 August 8pmKalakuta Republik
15 August 7.15pm Eugene Onegin
17 August 7.30pm Red Dust Road
20 August 8pmTotal Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation
22 August 8pmHear Word! Naija Woman Talk True
26 August (timings TBC) - 60mins one on one session with Anna Hodgart, Engine Room Producer at NTS, Rockvilla, 125 Craighall Road, Glasgow, G4 9TL
4 September 2-6pm - Group debrief with Anna Hodgart, Engine Room Producer at National Theatre of Scotland and Wezi Mhura, International Festival Programme Associate at Edinburgh International Festival.

Applications for Navigating International Waters are now closed.

YT Director's Development Programme

Youth Theatre Arts Scotland

The YT Directors’ Development Programme will give experienced directors of youth theatre the opportunity to take part in a new four-month long programme to hone new ideas and develop their creative practice. From August to November 2019 participants will come 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.

Find out more

Programme benefits:

  • The opportunity to explore your own career development needs and present new work
  • Being part of a committed network of youth theatre directors
  • Tickets to selected Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe performances to inspire your work, as well as Fringe vouchers towards further performances of your choice
  • Pairing with a ‘creative buddy’ that can offer you guidance and expertise to help focus ideas
  • An opportunity to develop and share a new work-in-progress at Emergence 2019 at the Traverse Theatre
  • A free place at YTAS’s National Convention of Youth Drama in March 2020 and the opportunity to share your learning and experience with Scotland’s youth theatre sector
  • A limited number of travel and accommodation bursaries are available to support some directors who would otherwise be unable to participate


5 - 9 August - Free tickets to a curated programme of Edinburgh International Festival shows
21 - 22 September - A weekend intensive that will support the directors to hone a new idea or develop their practice
October - November - Tailored individual support by a ‘Creative Buddy’
15 - 16 November - A scratch event at the Traverse Theatre
March 2020 - Reunion of the 2019 cohort and opportunity to share experiences at the National Convention of Youth Drama 2020.

Who it is for:

The YT Directors’ Development Programme is open to experienced directors who:

  • Have demonstrable practice of directing theatre productions with young people and who are looking to develop this practice further
  • Are based in Scotland
  • Are a member of YTAS or are willing to become one. 

Applications for the YT Directors’ Development Programme are now closed.

Photo: Ryan Buchanan
International Climate Crisis Plays

Royal Court Theatre

The Royal Court Theatre returns to the Edinburgh International Festival for a major new residency that will culminate in a week of lunchtime performances of new short plays written by some of the most significant international new voices.

The five writers from Brazil, China, India, South Africa and Syria will share urgent perspectives from across the world on the global climate crisis through plays specially commissioned to premiere at the Festival.

Learn more

New short plays by Luanda Casella, Si’an Chen, Amy Jephta, Ghiath Al Mhitawi, Swati Simha

Tuesday 13 August: Amy Jephta 
Wednesday 14 August: Ghiath Al Mhitawi
Thursday 15 August: Si’an Chen
Friday 16 August: Luanda Casella
Saturday 17 August: Swati Simha

Venue: Festival Theatre Studio
Dates: 12pm, 13 - 17 August
Time: 50 mins (including discussion)

Prior to the performances, the writers will spend two weeks forging new relationships with other international artists in Edinburgh and collaborators from across the UK. Taking part in the You Are Here strand of work, including The Departure Lounge project.

Each artist’s residency will also involve a visit to another partner organisation across the UK, who has supported the development of their work. These include HighTide Festival, Leeds Playhouse, Live Theatre in Newcastle and the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester.

This project is curated in partnership with and supported by the British Council.

The Writers

Luanda Casella
Luanda Casella is a Brazilian writer, storyteller and performer living and working in Belgium since 2006. Her research and practice focus broadly on the ways individuals relate to narratives in order to create a sense of identity, to form their opinion, and ultimately to protect themselves. Highly influenced by post-modern literature, Luanda's writings often employ metafiction to comment language construction on a philosophical and political level. Her latest work Short of Lying premiered last year at the Belgian summer festival TAZ and is now on international tour. This piece has granted her the playwright price SABAM Theaterschrijfprijs, 2018.

Si’an Chen 
Si’an Chen ( 陈思安 ) is a playwright, theatre director, poet, short story writer and literary translator. She was born in Inner Mongolia and now lives and works in Beijing. She has written six plays including Underpass which was performed as a rehearsed reading at the Royal Court Theatre in 2018; Drowning, 2012, Penghao Theatre, Beijing; Rabbit Hole, 2012, Trojan Theatre, Beijing; The Spacing of Silence, 2013, Beijing International Fringe Festival; Mountain Temple, 2015, published in Today Magazine; Fake Brand Life, 2019, Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center. 

Swati Simha
Swati is a playwright and research scholar based in New Delhi. She received her Masters from Shanghai Theatre Academy, China and is currently pursuing a PhD at the Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She won the Toto Award for creative writing in 2018. She was one of the playwrights commissioned for the B!rth Festival at Royal Exchange, Manchester. Her play Flypaper Trap was written under the mentorship of Royal Court Theatre at the Writer’s Bloc residency.

Amy Jephta 
Amy Jephta is a filmmaker, playwright, screenwriter, director and academic from Cape Town As a playwright, her work has been published in South Africa, performed at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town, the Riksteatern in Stockholm, and at the Bush Theatre, Theatre 503 and the Jermyn Street Theatres in London. Amy has previously been named as one of the Mail & Guardian's 200 Top Young South Africans, is the 2017 recipient of the national Eugene Marais Prize for Drama for her play, Kristalvlakte, and the 2019 Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for Theatre.

Ghiath Al Mhitawi
Ghiath al Mhitawi is a playwright and filmmaker from Damascus, holds a Bachelor’s degree in theatrical studies from the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus/Syria. He worked as a trainer and writer for social theatre in Syria and Lebanon and conducts research in the realm of theatre. His play the final Return was presented at the Royal Court Theatre in 2015 as part of Told from the Inside, a series of Syrian play readings.

Artist as Audience - Free Ticket Offers

Edinburgh Performing Arts Development, Playwright's Studio, Scottish Drama Training Network

In partnership with various partner networks, the Edinburgh International Festival are offering artist, producers and creatives the chance to receive free tickets to shows in the 2019 International Festival programme that will be of interest to, invigorate and inspire their work. Bursaries are also available contribution towards 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.

Find out more about Artist as Audience
Edinburgh Performing Arts Development

Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Performing Arts Development (EPAD) are again working together to ensure that local performing artists and producers can benefit from the extraordinary programme of work that is presented during the Edinburgh International Festival.

Following last year’s successful pilot programme, we are delighted to be able to offer up to 2 free tickets for a variety of productions across dance, theatre and opera to 60 members of the EPAD network.

These tickets will be allocated on a lottery basis, drawn randomly from all eligible applications.

To be eligible you must meet all three of these requirements:

  • Be based in Edinburgh or have an EH Postcode
  • Work as a performing artist, producer, or other performing arts industry professional
  • Be available to attend a performance on at least two of the following dates: 4, 5, 9, 11, 15, 17, 20, 22 or 24 August (specific details of the productions will be revealed once the draw has taken place)

Applications for this are now closed.

Playwrights' Studio

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

We are delighted to be able to offer up to 2 free tickets for a variety of productions across dance, theatre and opera to 30 playwrights. These tickets will be allocated on a lottery basis, drawn randomly from all eligible applications.

To be eligible you must meet both of these requirements:

  • You are a playwright based in Scotland or are a Scottish playwright based elsewhere
  • Be available to attend a performance on at least two of the following dates: 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 or 24 August (specific details of the productions will be revealed once the draw has taken place)

Applications for this are now closed.

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 will present 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 will provide 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.

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.

18 08 2019 Eif Quatuor Mona Gaelle Beri 33

Our work with Communities

Soul Boxes Workshop © Mihaela Bodlovic 050

Our work with Children & Families

08 08 2019 Eif Hard To Be Soft Gaelle Beri 3

Our work with Young People