NEWS: National Theatre of Scotland present Engine Room – a new nationwide programme

Inspired by the success of talent development initiatives created for artists at the National Theatre of Scotland’s new theatre-making facility Rockvilla, on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal in Glasgow, the Company has announced Engine Room, a new nationwide programme of opportunities for artists, hosted in partnership with arts venues and theatre spaces across Scotland.

Engine Room is a pioneering national artistic model, celebrating the Company’s “without walls” model, focusing first and foremost on empowering and enabling artistic communities, whilst still supporting individual artists, collectives, and companies. This talent development initiative will foster creative environments across the country, in partnership with local venues and organisations. In this first pilot year, this will be achieved through a rolling programme of invitations and opportunities involving the relocation of key members of the National Theatre of Scotland team as well inviting artists from across Scotland to benefit from the resources in Rockvilla.

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director, National Theatre of Scotland says:

“It’s thrilling to be able to reach out across Scotland to find extraordinary theatre-making talent that the National Theatre of Scotland can support in a myriad of ways. I want to enable artists of all disciplines to join us so we can support them to make bold and exciting theatre and ultimately to place Scottish theatre-making at the heart of international innovation in theatre practice”

In addition to physical Engine Room spaces, digital Engine Room Artist (ERA) spaces will be created allowing  allow artists across the country to communicate together, sharing knowledge, networks and resources despite geographical distance and acting as an online facilitator of collaboration and exchange.

Engine Room is keen to hear from anyone based in Scotland who works professionally as an artist and is interested in theatre-making, whether they be a performer, director, visual artist, musician, poet, gamer, designer or comedian.

Examples of Engine Room opportunities include:

·         Guest Room, a new pilot initiative offering free rehearsal/making space

·         masterclasses by artists, producers, technicians and National Theatre of Scotland staff

·         workshops in playwrighting and a script reading service

·         opportunities to see work with other artists

·         one on one artist development sessions and script surgeries

·         chances to pop in to rehearsals for National Theatre of Scotland productions and to meet directors and designers

·         Admin Fridays – a new initiative inviting artists, makers and producers to gather in Rockvilla for a day of communal working

Current partners include Wigtown Book Festival and The Stove Network, Dumfries, with more to follow.

For a full calendar of bookable events please visit

In addition to these pop-up events the National Theatre of Scotland is continuing their STARTER programme, giving eight artists funded residencies to develop their creative ideas.

The eight artists will explore new projects looking at the alt-right, sonics, everyday gaelic, the Scottish tradition of flyting, Chinese food, British Sign Language, the art of Foley and an Argyllshire adventure for children.

In 2017, the National Theatre of Scotland Starter Artists are Louise Ahl, Iain Craig, Daniel Livingston, Hardeep Pandhal, Nima Séne, Sara Shaarawi, Diane Thornton and Sean Wai Keung.

“Being accepted onto the Starter Programme means that I will finally have a supportive environment in which to truly push myself, both in terms of my own artistic development & the depth of the topics I wish to explore.” Sean Wai Keung – Starter Artist

Two emerging companies will be given access to Rockvilla resources for a year, as well as a £2,000 investment to support their growth. In 2017 to 2018 these Engine Room companies in residence are Blood of the Young, a Glasgow-based ensemble comprised of theatre-makers, actors, writers, dancers, sound-artists, musicians, and designers and Bilji, a new verbatim theatre, committed to socially engaged work for diverse audiences.

The overall  aims of Engine Room are to grow the artistic sector nationally by developing new or existing skills, to expand creative networks and to generate ideas and collaborations and to continue to contribute to the growth and sustainability of a vibrant Scottish theatre ecology.

National Theatre of Scotland’s full 2018 programme of work will be announced later on this year.

Join the conversation:  #NTSEngineRoom