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.
Our Class Act 2021-2022 schools are Broughton High School, Craigmount High School, Craigroyston Community High School, Forrester High School and Royal High School. We’re working with these five schools, to support young people to unleash their creativity and unique voice. The dynamic new creative work they make will be premiered by the Traverse as part of our spring 2022 season in March. Each school has a dedicated facilitator who worked with their class to realise their creative ideas alongside a programme of digital tasks by guest artists who work with writing as part of their practice.
The guest artist tasks are included in the workshops and enable the pupils to produce a small bit of writing ahead of their class creating their final pieces for the project. This combination of in-person and pre-recorded delivery enables us to bring in artists from all over Scotland to the project, but minimising travel and numbers in the classroom.
Previously Class Act project worked only with playwrights, but since 2020, we began to offer a variety of creative stimuli for participating young people to engage with such as poetry, song writing, screenwriting, physical theatre, hip-hop as well as writing for stage.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Class Act is a project which, in my experience, changes lives for young people involved. Every time I do the project it changes mine.
Class Act 2021 is generously supported by the Cruden Foundation, the Murdoch Forrest Charitable Trust, The McGlashan Trust, and The Nancie Massey Charitable Trust.
Traverse Theatre is funded by Creative Scotland and The City of Edinburgh Council, with additional support from The Scottish Government Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund.