Since 28th May 2020, National Theatre of Scotland (NTS), in association with leading children’s arts organisations Starcatchers and Imaginate has been running a programme of digital arts workshops and activities for children called Play Dates. From Tuesday 28 July, as the summer holidays get closer to an end,theybring a new series of interactive workshops.
These workshops, made by freelance creative practitioners and artists, will be released online, extending the existing Play Dates weekly programme and continue to provide fun activities for younger children and families during the summer holidays.
Starting this last part of the season’s programming is That’s Not Your Spoon/ Chan E Sin Do Spàin, the first Gaelic language series to appear as part of Play Dates.Aimed at age 3+, it is a new series of animated storytelling videos for younger children at home, presented in both English and Gaelic, from Edinburgh-based creative practitioners Ruth Hamilton and Laura Haylock and is available from Tuesday 28 to Friday 31 July at 2pm.
Episode 1: That’s Not Your Spoon/Chan e sin do spàin
Episode 2: That’s Not Your Book/Chan e sin do leabhar
Episode 3;That’s Not Your Pillowcase/Chan e sin do chluasag
Episode 4: That’s Not the Story/ Chan e sin an sgeulachd.
The summer Play Dates season comes to a close on 10 August with a new project for all ages from Edinburgh based lead artist Mamoru Iriguchi and musical director and dramaturg Greg Sinclair, entitled World Jam, a special international musical event, involving children from Scotland and across the world singing Auld Lang Syne in their own language and accompanied by a young Scottish piper.
There are currently thirty Play Dates episodes available for families to watch and get involved with on the National Theatre of Scotland website. The programme has included interactive storytelling workshops, freewheeling Unicorn Dance Parties, a step-by-step guide to creating your own theatre show from the comfort of your home, video workshops to enhance your storytelling, and special games and exercises to play through video calls with friends.
Play Dates celebrates and offers fee-based employment to several talented freelance artists, technicians and practitioners who work regularly behind the scenes on the creation of world-class Scottish theatre and is available to view via the NTS website, and YouTube and Facebook
Rhona Matheson, Chief Executive of Starcatchers, Scotland’s National Arts and Early Years Organisation, says, “We’re delighted to be working with National Theatre of Scotland to help develop a Digital Play Dates programme that includes some fantastic arts experiences designed especially for families with babies and younger children.
We’ve seen so many examples over the past few weeks of young children and their families’ wonderful capacity for creativity. We hope Play Dates will help bring more inspiration, magic and joy – particularly on those tough days – remembering that it’s the process that matters. All of the experiences will allow children to explore the world around them, develop curiosity and imagination and, most importantly, provide opportunities for connection.”