Virtual Programme

Bringing the Traverse to you.

Despite our building being closed, we’re working hard to produce a free virtual programme (detailed below), working with writers, artists, young people and our community. Of course, we’re also planning exciting future shows, projects, collaborations and several Festival-shaped surprises coming soon that we can’t wait to share with you.

Although our ambitious stagings of new work in the Traverse’s physical spaces have been paused, there’s still plenty to see and do in our virtual programme, where we continue to nurture writers, employ bold artists, and serve our local – and global – creative communities.

We hope to see all of you at the Traverse again when it is safe for us to do so, but for now, we’re bringing the Traverse to wherever you are, and inviting you to join fellow theatre-lovers for brilliant performances and new learning opportunities.

Image: Lara Cappelli, First Stages Festival (2019)


Hopefully, you're on this page because you love theatre and believe in the power of new writing and stories like we do. We recognise that these are difficult times for many of us. However, if you are willing and able to make a donation to support our work, we would gratefully appreciate your help.


A young man in a hoodie stands in front of Arthur's Seat. His mouth is scribbled out, and images of Edinburgh buildings are drawn on either side of him.


Declan is a brand new take on the Traverse Theatre’s 2019 Festival hit production Mouthpiece, about class, culture and appropriation.

Exploring the play’s central character through performance, Declan blends footage filmed in real Edinburgh locations and through performance, sound, cinematography and animation, places the audience firmly in Declan’s shoes, to see Edinburgh as he experiences it.

Frank, unflinching and filled with unexpected humour, Declan is an exhilarating and immersive film. It wrenches the spotlight away from those doing the talking, to those being talked about, and demands attention - on their own terms.

Declan will be available for audiences to experience through the Traverse Theatre and Edinburgh International Festival websites for a limited period from Monday 24 August.


Breakfast Plays: New Tracks

Five short plays in a brand new podcast format for 2020

Traditionally taking place at 9am during the Traverse Festival, the bite-sized Breakfast Plays are a key element of the Traverse’s talent development programme for writers, bringing brand new short plays by early career writers to the world and showcasing the best new Scottish writing talent to the international audiences who flood Edinburgh in August.

This year's Breakfast Plays have been specially written and recorded as podcast plays for the first time so audiences around the world can enjoy the world premiere of these short plays for free, at a time and place which suits them best.

One Breakfast Play will premiere at 9am each day from Mon 24 - Fri 28 August and will be available to listen to on demand and for free for 14 days.


Open Submissions Workshops

Want to develop your playwriting skills?

This free 16-week course delivered in video and podcast form led by playwrights and theatremakers will support you - and fellow aspiring writers - to unleash your creativity and take you from idea to draft.

Tutors already confirmed to deliver workshops are Debbie Hannan, Gareth Nicholls, Matilda Ibini, Natasha Sutton Williams, Julia Taudevin, Hannah Lavery and Meghan Tyler. Transcripts and closed captions available.


SHEDINBURGH Fringe Festival

Celebrating and sustaining the best of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in sheds!

SHEDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL is a brand new online festival presenting the very best of the Fringe stalwarts of theatre, music and comedy, and the best new acts, all performed live from sheds across the country and streamed into people’s homes this August.

SHEDINBURGH will take place between 14 August – 5 September with daily livestreamed events including ‘one night only’ performances from established Fringe favourites, slots for new artists through Open Call Submissions and industry panel discussions.


Traverse Young Writers' Scratch Performances

Nine short new pieces from our Traverse Young Writers.

When the lockdown was announced our Traverse Young Writers Group was halfway through receiving weekly tuition from acclaimed playwrights and preparing to present their work on stage at the Traverse. Our plans were quickly reimagined with workshops and the performances moving online.

We're delighted to be able to present these brand new pieces from our 9 Young Writers online, directed remotely and with performers filming in their own homes under lockdown conditions.


Five From The Inside

Five monologues written by Rona Munro, performed by the Donny's Brain team.

Following the sad cancellation of the highly anticipated world premiere of Donny’s Brain, each member of the production’s cast - Roanna Davidson, Michael Dylan, Lauren Grace, Bhav Joshi and Suzanne Magowan - suggested characters and scenarios which they were keen to explore via a company WhatsApp, and pieces were scripted by writer, Rona Munro based on these suggestions.

Each monologue was then filmed under lockdown conditions in the actors’ own homes on phone cameras, directed remotely by Caitlin with input from the designer, Becky Minto.

These monologues were available to view until Sat 2 May, the time at which the final performance of Donny's Brain would have ended.


We're collaborating with National Theatre of Scotland, BBC Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project and theatres across the country on Scenes for Survival - a new season of digital short artworks from Scottish creative talents.

The Present, written by Stef Smith starring Moyo Akandé and directed by Katherine Nesbitt, produced in association with the Traverse, is available to watch now.

During her solitude, a young woman offers a tender poetic lament to an absent loved one, and takes comfort in imagining a time when they can finally be together again.


The Voice Behind the Picture

In Motion Theatre in association with SEE ME

We should've welcomed In Motion Theatre to the Traverse on Thu 2 July to share brilliant monologues by new writers. Seeing as we couldn't do that, we welcomed them to our digital channels instead!

Over the space of 5 weeks, fourteen writers worked with playwright and creative director of In Motion Theatre Company, Lisa Nicoll to create stories/monologues around the theme The Voice Behind The Picture.


From our friends and fellow theatremakers