Ignite your creativity with our First Stages Festival 22 programme

News 3 Feb 2022

Today we're excited to announce the Spring 2022 edition of our First Stages Festival, a celebration of storytelling and creativity, with skills development opportunities for creatives at any stage of their career. With all workshops and interactive events being delivered digitally, we invite those keen to explore their creativity to attend from anywhere around the world.

Running from Monday 14 February to Monday 28 March, the 2022 programme includes free events including a new five-part on demand series from playwright Laurie Motherwell on How to Build Your Voice; weekly writers’ sessions on Zoom, led by playwrights James Ley and Uma Nada-Rajah during which writers can work alongside one another and support each other’s process; an exclusive networking workshop with Associate Artist Katherine Nesbitt and writer Michael John O’Neill which gives writers and directors the opportunity to meet and collaborate with one another;and a series of creative prompts, distributed via social media, which can be used by anyone to get themselves inspired and their creative juices flowing!

We will also present a wide range of intimate, interactive workshops with some of the most exciting artists working in the UK today, who will be offering their insight and expertise on a range of topics, including:

May SumbwanyambeCharacters and Actions
Travis Alabanza Working with Spontaneity: A Writing Workshop for LGBT+ Creatives
Hannah Lavery Poetry for Performance
Eve Leigh Changing the Rules
Oliver EmanuelPodcast Drama: The Hidden Truth
Robert SoftleyEmbedding Access in New Work
Produced Moon Playing with Mixed Reality
Morna Young Game Plays (how to find the play in a game)
Debris Stevenson Write Now (Positive Stories for Negative Times workshop)
Ellen Bannerman Creating the world on stage (Positive Stories for Negative Times workshop)
Hannah LaveryExploring your own story for the stage (Positive Stories for Negative Times workshop)

Award-winning writer David Ireland (Ulster America, Cyprus Avenue) will give a rare Q&A for you to ask him your most pressing questions about his work, writing, characters – and maybe even the new series of Derry Girls?

In person events include readings of six new plays from our 2022 First Stages Writers- six writers who have developed their craft with the Traverse and were selected from our 2020 Open Submissions entrants for personal, creative, and script development with the Traverse’s Literary Manager, Artistic Team, Associate Artists and a company of theatre makers.

The selected writers and pieces which will receive full-length readings are:

TOBOJO by Jack Gemmell
This Game Right Here by Aaron Gordon
Cow and Pig by Ava Hickey
Yes Chef by Laurie Ogden
The Cleaner by Kate Reid
Soldiers by Fraser Scott

Eleanor White, Traverse Theatre Literary Manager, said:

“We were bowled over by the response to First Stages Festival in 2021, and are delighted to be back in 2022 with even more opportunities for creatives around the world to further their knowledge and craft. We are absolutely thrilled to be working with so many important artists pushing the boundaries and expanding the vision of theatre, across our workshops, readings and other events – and we’re very excited for all those who are bound to learn a raft of new skills, ways of thinking, and fresh ideas from engaging with them! Although late winter can feel both literally and metaphorically like the darkest time of year, we hope the creativity on show across the First Stages Festival will provide some much-needed bright spots in the gloom – because where there is creativity, it will always bring light."

Explore the First Stages Festival 2022 programme and book.

Many events are on sale now, with more to follow shortly.

First Stages Festival Spring 2022 is generously supported by the Dr David Summers Charitable Trust and the Noël Coward Foundation.

Design: Kay Cochrane

The Traverse is funded by Creative Scotland and The City of Edinburgh Council, with additional support from The Scottish Government Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund.