Nationwide celebration of theatre and performance hands creative reins over to young Scots
The National Theatre of Scotland has revealed new details of its ambitious new festival, Futureproof, as part of Scotland's Year of Young People. Taking place from Friday 28 September to Sunday 28 October, the Futureproof Festival will stage ten unique performances in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, the Highlands, Moray, Paisley, Shetland and South Ayrshire.
Each work is created in collaboration between leading UK and international companies and local young people. The artists have been embedding themselves within the community in order to create a unique reflection of the lived experiences of young people from that area.
The diversity of Futureproof's programme reflects this commitment to telling authentic local and youth-led stories. A Mile in My Shoes by British company Empathy Museum is creating an exhibit of shoes and audio stories housed within a giant shoebox in Moray, which will encourage visitors to walk a mile in the shoes of a young local stranger and listen to their stories. Meanwhile in South Ayrshire, the Belgian company CAMPO will be staging a live radio show that asks young people to define landmark moments in their lives through music in Wild Life FM, whilst audiences in Edinburgh will be whisked away on a promenade through the Scottish Galleries of the National Museum of Scotland to uncover hidden and imagined histories in Chronicles.
There will also be a significant push to showcase of young voices that are often marginalised or silenced in contemporary theatre. For instance, the Scottish company Glas(s) Performance is working with young men in custody at HMYOI Polmont to explore questions of identity and inheritance in MOTION, whilst Jess Thom – theatre-maker, comedian, disability rights activist and co-founder of Touretteshero – sets up shop in Inverness for Hacks for the Future, an 'inclusive extravaganza' of installations, performances, workshops and discussions about how disabled young people can creatively shape the future.
But change isn't just coming to the communities themselves: conversations are also taking place within the heart of NTS itself. Members of the Youth Project Team – a group of seven young Scots between the ages of 17-24 – are not only overseeing the festival alongside Futureproof's creative leader Lucy Gaizely of 21Common, but are also embedded within departments of the NTS to question aspects of the company's work and practice in order to support the needs of next generation's theatre makers.
The official launch event will take place in the NTS' headquarters in Rockvilla. Also chiming with the festival is the pilot of the Futureproof passport, a new membership scheme for people aged 14 to 26 that will give them access to £5 tickets for select performances in NTS's 2018 season.
Jackie Wylie, the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland, spoke enthusiastically about the creative ripple-effect of the festival: 'Futureproof will unleash young Scottish creative energy across the nation. This international festival places radical participatory theatre practice at the forefront of theatre-making in Scotland whilst celebrating young people's place in our society and at the heart of cultural life. We want to open up the possibility of what the future of theatre could look like whilst offering audiences a nationwide festival of unbridled exuberance and talent. We are delighted to be part of Year of Young People 2018 and this commitment to Scotland's youth is carried through our 2018 programme of work.'
Futureproof Festival, 28 September–28 October, tickets now on sale, nationaltheatrescotland.com/futureproof