National Theatre of Scotland announces Scenes for Survival to support the Scottish theatre sector and creatives

National Theatre of Scotland announces Scenes for Survival to support the Scottish theatre sector and creatives

Jackie Wylie / credit: Niall Walker

Alternative theatrical online programme to be launched in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the theatre industry

Scotland's artistic organisations continue to come together to offer some hope amongst the uncertainty, with digital programmes and online projects launched everyday for isolated audiences. The National Theatre of Scotland are the latest to announce some good news with Scenes for Survival, a crisis responsive artistic online project launched in association with BBC Scotland and BBC Arts' Culture in Quarantine project.

The digital programme of work being created over the coming months will include engagement with writers, actors and directors to produce and deliver new pieces across varying online platforms, which will tackle themes that are currently being navigated by those in the industry and beyond. Many writers and performers have already confirmed their support of the project including Cora Bissett, Mark Bonnar, Tam Dean Burn, Alan Cumming, Brian Cox, Kate Dickie, Blythe Duff, Finn Den Hertog, Greg McHugh, Lorraine Mcintosh, Adura Onashile, Julie Wilson Nimmo, Richard Rankin, and Robert Softley Gale, with written contributions from Jenni Fagan, Greg Hemphill, May Sumbwanyambe, Val McDermid, Greg McHugh, Denise Mina and Ian Rankin.

Not only will the programme provide some relief and comfort to audiences affected by social distancing and self-isolation, it has also been curated to support the Scottish theatre sector and creatives during the current economic uncertainty, with the platform being used to raise money for a new hardship fund for those in the industry who have been hardest hit financially.

'We are living through a period that is unprecedented in my lifetime.' Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland says. 'In Scotland during times of crisis we have always turned to our storytellers to offer connectivity, solace and joy. We want to bring audiences together online despite our collective isolation. When we come through the other side of this era-defining moment we will all feel changed by what we have been through and it is theatre that will allow us to imagine, with hope, where we are going to find ourselves and how it will feel. Theatre matters, more than ever.

'The National Theatre of Scotland is part of a theatre sector that is struggling to survive through these times. Scenes for Survival will provide much-needed paid opportunities for artists, celebrate our exceptional national culture and raise money for the freelance community who are experiencing drastic economic and emotional hardship. We thank those who have come forward with such immediate generosity to get us started.

We know that theatre is also about the shared, communal, live experience – the visceral understanding that the quickening of your breath and beating heart is happening alongside those sitting next to you. We continue to make theatre in this way so that we can survive these times of crisis and then come together again on Scotland's stages.'

In the coming weeks, the NTS will announce a call out opportunity for writers to be commissioned to write short new pieces for the project. High profile artists involved will also be given the opportunity to donate their artistic fee on a pay it forward basis so that more artists are invited to get involved and be paid for their contributions.

More information and further announcements will be made available at

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