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Theatre REVIEW: Emergence 2023 - ★★★★★

Join us for a first look at bold new works-in-progress from the some of Scotland’s leading youth theatre directors at Emergence 2023 at the Traverse Theatre.

Each piece is the culmination of Youth Theatre Arts Scotland's Directors’ Development Programme, a professional development opportunity for experienced youth theatre directors. Over the course of the eight-month programme, YTAS’s directors have shared practice, worked one-to-one with National Theatre of Scotland dramaturg Rosie Kellagher, and been given the space and resource to create ambitious new work with talented young performers.

This works-in-progress performance is a chance for you to celebrate and support these directors on their next steps in turning their ideas from scribbles on post-it notes into full productions. From new scripts, to devised work, to new methods of working, the evening is sure to demonstrate to audiences the magical variety and boundless possibilities of the world of youth theatre in 2023.


  • DirectorAmanda Glover

  • Director Eoin McKenzie

  • Director Fin Russell

  • Director Hannah Edie

  • Director Liam Blain

  • Director Lucy Wild

  • Director Zoe Farrugia



Traverse Theatre - Friday 24th March


Stewart - ★★★★★

"A fantastic evening of youth theatre provided once again by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland - gradually becoming the go-to mothership for all youth theatre companies!

Our own students had worked with director Hannah Edie over the past few weeks on devising a piece for the evening as well, Missing Out.

The night contained 7 pieces of scratch theatre, works-in-progress, tryinng out ideas and developing towards finished pieces by upcoming youth directors who had been taking part in the youth director scheme organised by YTAS. It was a brilliant night seeing so many talented young people on the big stage at the Traverse and seeing so many different and unique possibilities for theatre.

Here's a quick rundown of what we saw:

1. Adults Are Idiots So These Teenagers Are Going To Teach Them Some Things - Platform Youth Theatre and Eoin McKenzie

A brilliant start to the night with this sprightly group teasing the audience with a wickedly funny performance delving into the power play dynamic between teenagers and adults. It had some gloriously uncomfortable moments for the adults in the audience and the energy of the cast was electric!

2. Model Behaviour - East Lothian Youth Theatre and Fin Ross Russell - Written by Jon Brittain

A confident and talented group of young actors took to the stage for this next piece, which is part of the National Theatre's Connections 2023. Taking on the politics within a United Nations congregation and contained well thought out moments to immerse the audience in the piece.

3. Debate Club - Edinburgh Youth Theatre and Zoe Farrugia

There were some excellent actors in this performance as a group of teenagers in a classroom transform into politicians. Interesting seeing teenagers own take on politics and the slow motion battle in the mid-section was hilarious, brilliant and well executed!

4. She / Her / Me - Dundee College and Amanda Glover

This dreamlike piece was a beautifully performed look exploring femininity, including it's strengths and it's anxieties. An emotive performance and the show had some memorable imagery accompanying it. A strong small cast left a lasting impression.

5. Happily Ever After? - Lyceum Youth Theatre and Liam Blain

I didn't want this one to end! A fantastic group performed an interactive fairytale where the audience had a choice in what unfolded. The cast were brilliant, especially the two narrators who had a tongue-twisting rhyming dialogue along the way. This one will go down very well with its target audience as the company are planning on performing to children in schools.

6. Missing Out - Mix Up Theatre and Hannah Edie

Hey, I recognised these guys! Our group had one of the most abstract performances on the night, an intriguingly strange limbo of storytelling, movement and finding ways to immerse an audience. A tale of journeys and experiences. I love it when theatre can be incorporated different ways and can mean different things depending on your own experience. Great stuff and pretty sure everyone wanted to join in with that glow-stick rave!

* What was so much fun about working on a scratch performance is how much it changes! Hannah and the group were trying ideas out and forming this piece, changing it around every week. Great that YTAS provides a platform for upcoming directors to have the opportunity and support in doing this.

7. Face the Music - Toonspeak Youth Theatre and Lisa Givens

Excellent work from the young actors in this group with a great idea of having a playlist of songs leading the storyline. Wonderful to have the ensemble create the dialogue and characters throughout the process of putting this one together.

The 7 directors at Emergence this year introduced audiences to the rich diversity of ideas and possibilities that are at the core of youth theatre. Well done! Can't wait to see what happens next!"

Some more pics of Mix Up Theatre at Emergence...


Make sure you have booked in for the latest DRAMA CLASSES at Mix Up Theatre throughout Scotland :)


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