Class Act is the Traverse Theatre's flagship education project, challenging senior pupils from across Edinburgh to become artists and writers, creating brand new creative work to be premiered by the Traverse.

Beginning in 1990, Class Act is central to the Traverse Theatre’s commitment to connecting with, nurturing and unlocking the creative potential of young people. Each year we are blown away by the inspiration, insight and dedication they bring to the project.

Class Act has gained ground over the last 30 years, and the pandemic forged ahead change to an elevated digital model with in-person facilitation. This approach - established in consultation with the teachers - allowed us to work more responsively to individual schools’ needs. Through Class Act, young people are supported to enact positive, tangible change in their lives – a legacy that will support them, and our society in years to come.

Class Act Edinburgh

Within the current iteration of Class Act we are working with City of Edinburgh Council schools; Firrhill High School, Craigroyston High School, Tynecastle High School, Leith Academy as well as Intercultural Youth Scotland.

We’re working with these five groups, to support young people to unleash their creativity and unique voice. Each group has a dedicated facilitator who has worked with them to realise their creative ideas alongside a programme of digital tasks by guest artists who work with writing as part of their practice. The Class Act model allows young people to work with and be inspired by some of Scotland's most exciting creatives. Each script will be brought to life by a team of professional theatre-makers on the Traverse stage.

Class Act On Tour

The Traverse is immensely proud of the Class Act model’s success in Edinburgh and internationally over the past 30 years and now, we are thrilled to be taking Class Act on Tour!

Over the next 2 years Class Act will be delivered to young people across Scotland. In Spring 2023, the Traverse partnered with Aberdeen Arts Centre, Aberdeen Performing Arts and The Gaiety Theatre to engage young people in Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire, with more locations to come in Spring 2024.

Class Act's Impact

Class Act is a key part of the Traverse Theatre’s work and we are immensely proud of the past 30 years. Since 1990 we have:

  • Worked with over 100 school groups
  • Created over 2,000 young writers
  • Produced over 1,000 scripts

We’ve also taken Class Act to India, Russia and Ukraine, working internationally with young people and schools in these countries.

The project has involved playwrights such as Stef Smith, David Greig, Nicola McCartney, Douglas Maxwell and Gregory Burke. Plays have been brought to life by actors including Molly Innes, Colin McCredie, Kevin McKidd, Ryan Fletcher, Greg McHugh, Cora Bissett and Katrina Bryan.

A teenage boy in a smart blue blazer smiles at the camera.
Two teenage boys sit smiling at the laptop in front of them.

I have been involved in Class Act several times and I have found that it has been universally beneficial for all pupils involved... Class Act has been a great boon for young people and I have seen their confidence grow throughout the process.

Teacher at Boroughmuir High School

It is quite easy to adapt the Drama unit to fit Class Act and there were a good few workshop techniques ,which I can incorporate into my on-going practice. It is a great project which I would be more than happy to continue collaborating with The Traverse on.

Teacher Craigroyston High School, Class Act 2021

I've learned that you can make a story out of anything. My strongest memory of the project is performing the song lyric and the obstacle diagrams. Looking forward to seeing how the actors perform it!

Pupil Playwright, Broughton High School, Class Act 2021

Class Act is a project which, in my experience, changes lives for young people involved. Every time I do the project it changes mine.

Nicola McCartney, playwright

For more details about Class Act and the application process, get in touch with Becca King -

Class Act on Tour is generously supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the William Syson Foundation, the Backstage Trust, The David and June Gordon Memorial Trust, The McGlashan Charitable Trust, Aberdeen City Council and the John Thaw Foundation.

The Traverse Theatre is supported by Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council with additional support from the Scottish Government's Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund and Creative Scotland's Recovery Fund for Cultural Organisations.