One of the most important theatres in Britain."
The Traverse Theatre is Scotland's new writing theatre. From its
conception in 1963, it has embraced a spirit of innovation and
risk-taking that launched the careers of many of Scotland's
best-known writers including John Byrne, David Greig, David
Harrower and Liz Lochhead.
It is unique in Scotland in that it fulfils the crucial role of
providing the infrastructure, professional support and expertise to
ensure the development of a dynamic theatre culture for Scotland.
It commissions and
develops new plays or adaptations from contemporary
playwrights. It produces, on average, six Traverse Theatre Company
productions or co-productions per year. It also presents a large
number of productions from visiting companies from across the UK.
These include new plays, adaptations, dance, physical theatre,
puppetry and contemporary music.
The Traverse has an unrivalled reputation for producing
contemporary theatre of the highest quality, invention and energy,
and for its dedication to new writing." Scotland on
The Traverse is an international reputation for producing and
presenting the very best new drama, and this is particularly the
case during the Edinburgh Festivals in August. The Traverse
Festival 2013 programme overall took 10 awards. It is also the home
of the manipulate Visual Theatre Festival, the Imaginate Festival
and the Traverse's own New Writing and Dance Festivals.
2012 witnessed the birth of Write Here, a brand new festival at the
Traverse. Focused on opening up the process behind new writing, the
festival encouraged interaction between writers, playwrights and
The Traverse turned 50 in 2013 and to celebrate, the
Theatre offered 50 writers a year-long
attachment to the Traverse. Writers were invited to take part
in a series of tailor-made writing events throughout 2013,
including panel discussions, workshops and one-on-one
dramaturgy.The year-long attachment culminated in a New Writing
Festival featuring some of the work developed by the Traverse Fifty
throughout the year. At the end of the process seven of the
writers were offered seed commissions.
The Traverse's work with young people is of major importance and
takes the form of encouraging playwriting through its flagship
education project Class Act, as well as the Young Writers'
Group. Class Act will soon enter its 23rd year and over the
years the programme has given school pupils the opportunity to
develop their plays with professional playwrights and work with
directors and actors to see the finished piece performed on stage
at the Traverse.
Without the theatre, it's difficult to imagine Scottish
playwriting at all." The Sunday Times
The hugely successful Young Writers' Group is open to new
writers aged 18 - 25. Graduates from the group who have gone on to
write professionally include Sam Holcroft, Morna Pearson and
Catherine Grosvenor. A new project, Scribble, offers an after-school playwriting
and theatre skills workshop for 14 - 17 year olds. Both programmes
are led by professional playwrights