Theatre preview: Chrysalis

Theatre preview: Chrysalis

Scotland's newest theatre festival is changing the face of youth performance

Youth Theatre Arts Scotland's inaugural Chrysalis Festival, is taking over Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre from Friday 6 to Saturday 7 November. Presenting an innovative programme of performance, it aims to change the way audiences look at young people's work.

The chrysalis – the penultimate stage in the process of metamorphosis, before the caterpillar re-emerges, transformed into a fully-grown butterfly – is an apt metaphor for the development of the young artist and the perfect title for a concept that's been brewing at Youth Theatre Arts Scotland for a long time, as CEO Kenny McGlashan explains. 'The idea for Chrysalis first surfaced around five years ago when my predecessor Colin Bradie was seeing high quality work emerging from our sector that was made by young people in collaboration with talented artists and directors.'

Chrysalis is aiming to shine a spotlight on the country's emerging artistic talent by bringing these young theatre-makers into a professional setting. 'We wanted to establish a programme of shows that were made and performed by young people all platformed in the same way we would see at other theatre festivals,' says McGlashan.

It's this unique blend of cutting-edge youth performance and professional production that he hopes will shake up the UK's youth theatre scene. 'We want Chrysalis to create a buzz,' he says. 'We want to challenge audience perceptions of what they expect from shows made by young people and raise the aspirations of our sector with a new platform for their work.'

Making up this groundbreaking programme of performance are the latest productions from four of the UK's premier youth theatre companies: two of Glasgow's most celebrated groups, Tramway's Junction 25 and the Citizens’ Theatre's Young Company, are joined by Manchester-based Contact Young Company and Liverpool's award-winning 20 Stories High.

Combining the vitality of innovative youth performance with the polished production of the professional theatre, Chrysalis promises to be a landmark showcase of the British theatre's most promising new artists.

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Fri 6–Sat 7 Nov.


Created and curated by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, Chrysalis – their annual festival of youth performance – presents a selection of young people’s work that can stand as examples of excellence. First formed in 2015, this unique platform has an emphasis on emerging youthful companies who present uncompromising…

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