New Digital Platform Rep Studios Launched by Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre

In response to the pandemic, REP STUDIOS is a new digital platform showcasing a season of theatre, dance, and music launched jointly by the creative organisation that is Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre who sit at the heart of the city’s cultural life. 

This new digital space will feature new work from the ensembles of the two companies, co-productions and work conceived specifically for online sharing that will include some of the highlights from Dundee Rep’s 80th anniversary season that was cut short by the pandemic. The digital and accessible platform is designed to reach and engage with wider audiences recognising that the arts should return with strength in the future.

The first season of Rep Studios will present a wide variety of genres from dance, musicals and gigs, through to folklore, storytelling and footballing legends – all reflecting the diverse communities that give Dundee its distinctive voice and should resonate with audiences beyond the shores of the Tay.

As well as the now 20 year old Dundee Rep Ensemble and Scottish Dance Theatre’s company of international dancers, 84 Scottish and Scottish-based freelance arts professionals are involved in this first season, ensuring much needed work for the highly skilled workers fundamental to the creative ecology within the sector. 

Artistic Director (Dundee Rep) and Joint-Chief Executive Andrew Panton said “Using technology in the way we have has of course been a necessity during this global pandemic. When an arts organisation is forced to close its doors but needs to continue to talk to audiences, then digital platforms are the only way. It is that very necessity however, that has given rise to innovation, allowing us to now reach wider and more diverse audiences, offer more accessible content, and explore a range of hybrid artistic forms of output that we simply wouldn’t have considered 12 months ago. Rep Studios therefore gives us the chance to share stories which are firmly rooted in our fantastic, creative city but which speak to the wider world. We hope football fans around the world will join us to enjoy something they couldn’t in person when they tune in to see our 80th anniversary season hit Smile, about Dundee footballing legend, Jim McLean.

“We know for sure there is a range of content available online but we hope with Rep Studios we can offer something really distinctive that will stand out and also live well beyond the end of this current pandemic.”

Opening the extensive programme is the return of the popular Smile that will run from 16th April to 16th May. Scripted by Only An Excuse writer Philip Differ and filmed on the Rep stage, Smile focuses on football legend Jim McLean, who took Dundee United to new heights and whose role is reprised by Barrie Hunter. In addition, Dundee Rep will collaborate with Eden Court Inverness and Helen Milne Productions to presentIslander that is a reimagining of the award-winning two-hander folk theatre show with music and lyrics by St Andrews-born writer and composer Finn Anderson.

Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre are committed to making Rep Studios content accessible and affordable with reduced rates for those who can’t afford to pay the full price and many free events across the season.

This season of work is made possible by support from Creative Scotland and Dundee City Council together with the support of the Scottish Government through the Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund.

Tickets for SMILE go on sale on Tuesday 6 April at Dundee Rep’s website.

Irene Brown

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