News on our international residencies and exchange projects

News 12 Jul 2019

UK/Japan Season of Culture 2019-2020 – playwright announcement

We are thrilled to announce that the two playwrights selected for the UK/Japan Season of Culture 2019-2020 exchange project will be Andrew Thompson and Morna Young.

Andrew Thompson
Morna Young

As two exciting, emergent Scottish-based playwrights, they will travel to Japan on bespoke research trips, through which they will explore different communities, along with theatre makers and artists, to create new works to be enjoyed by both Scottish and international audiences.

Andrew Thomson trained and worked as an actor, before moving back to Edinburgh to focus on his writing. He has had work staged in Newcastle, Sheffield, London and Edinburgh, and has won a number of awards including ‘Best New Writer’ at The Stage Debut Awards 2018 and a Playwright Studio Scotland New Playwright Award.

A fellow Playwright Studio Scotland New Playwright Award-winner, Morna Young is a playwright, actress and musician from Moray. Lost at Sea, her debut play, premiered at Perth Theatre in April this year before touring Scotland, and subsequently winning two Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) in June 2019.

Independent Japanese producer, Kei Saito – who joined the Traverse team as part of a producing internship during 2018/19 – will be a key project partner in designing their residencies and creating connections with Japanese arts organisations.

The Japan/Scotland Playwriting residency is supported by the British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland partnership to take part in UK in Japan 2019-20. This project is additionally made possible through support from The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

Mumbai Legacy Project – Festival playwright residency

Following our creative residency in Mumbai in April this year, this August we will welcome two Indian playwrights to Scotland as part of our continuing artist exchange project with Rage Productions in Mumbai – Hitesh Porje and Nayantara Nayar.

After connecting with Rage in 2018, to deliver Class Act Mumbai, we’re delighted to be working with them once again to nurture new talent, and promote international new writing exchange.

Hitesh Porje and Nayantara Nayar will travel to Edinburgh to take part in a number of activities and learning experiences, immersing themselves in the Traverse Festival and Fringe context. They will have the opportunity to connect with artists across the Traverse Festival programme and beyond, witness the rehearsal processes for the Traverse Breakfast Plays and connect with the playwriting students from University of Edinburgh’s MSc in Playwriting (also presenting work at the Traverse at Pre-View, 5 and 12 August.)

The new plays, which Hitesh and Nayantara have honed through a week-long residency in Mumbai, will be presented at a reading to a selected audience on 15 August (supported by the University of Edinburgh).

The Scotland/India Festival Residency 2019 is supported by legacy funding as part of the British Council’s UK/India 2017 Season and is supported by the British Council, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government.

Our Creative Producer Sunniva Ramsay says:

"The Traverse is excited to be connecting with these writers, and strengthening our support of new writing in an International context. The Japanese Residency will offer a brilliant opportunity to utilise Kei Saito's insight from working at the Traverse in 2018/19, to immerse two exciting Scottish playwrights within Japan and its theatre scene. We’re delighted to be working with Rage Productions once again to welcome two young Indian writers to the Traverse Festival to share their work and experience the largest arts festival in the world. The themes which all four playwrights wish to explore are vital, provocative, human stories and the Traverse is thrilled to work with them, and to support them in reaching audiences in Scotland and on the global stage."