This year, Class Act, the programme from the Traverse that pairs established playwrights, storytellers, directors and musicians with students from secondary schools across the city of Edinburgh, celebrates its 30th anniversary.
The Traverse welcomes back the youth programme to Traverse 1 in 2022 with stories that have been created by students from five local secondary schools – Craigroyston Community High School, Craigmount High School, Forrester High School, Broughton High School and Royal High School, who have participated in Class Act since October 2021.
Each script, be it play, poem, or song, will be brought to life by a team of professional theatre-makers including directors, actors, filmmakers and musicians, some of whom were previously Class Act participants themselves, including Greg McHugh known for Gary: Tank Commander, Fresh Meat, The A Word.
Traverse’s Creative Development Producers Wezi Mhura and Robbie Gordon said, “This year’s Class Act sees around 30 short pieces for audiences to enjoy, all written by the young people of Edinburgh, it’s a truly brilliant and wild selection of work. As current custodians of Class Act, it’s been our privilege to bring pieces like this to life over the last two years.
Last year we couldn’t deliver the Class Act in the usual way, which has always culminated in a script-in-hand reading in Traverse 1. We were gutted, but we worked hard to ensure that the voices of young people still had their moment through our new digital venue Traverse 3.
We’re now in Class Act’s 30th anniversary year, so we decided that we wanted to keep the forward momentum of the project going and celebrate its return to the stage in style. This year there has been 150 young people and over 30 artists involved. For the first time ever, we are working with a brilliant ensemble for two weeks, including some of Scotland’s best actors and some Class Act alumni too and we believe this might be our biggest published collection of plays we’ve ever produced for Class Act. We can’t wait to welcome people as we takeover Traverse 1 for two nights to perform these exciting new works”
Placing professional playwrights and artists into each school, Class Act supports students to become writers and storytellers, providing both the artistic support and safe space necessary for participants to express themselves freely and imagine without inhibition. The results address what they feel passionate about.
Casting for these performances includes Greg McHugh, Shyvonne Ahmmad, Hannah Donaldson, Laura Lovemore, Elena Redmond, Manjot Sumal, Chloe-Ann Tylor and Martin Donaghy.
Performances are directed by Robbie Gordon, Gareth Nicholls and Fiona Mackinnon, with music and sound design by VanIves, design by Katy McGlynn and Rachel Light.
Class Act facilitators over the last year have included Hazel Darwin Clements, Chloe-Ann Tylor, Joanna Bowman and playwrights Lewis Hetherington, James Ley, Nicola McCartney, Martin O’Connor and Michael John O’Neill.
Class Act 30th Anniversary Showcase will take place on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th March @ 7.30PM at Traverse Theatre