Chrysalis shortlist revealed

Feb 12 2015 | By More

Edinburgh youth companies up for Chrysalis award

Three of Edinburgh’s youth theatre companies are on the shortlist for Chrysalis, a new platform for ambitious and provocative performance by young theatre-makers.

Creative Electric, the Lyceum Youth Theatre and Strange Town are among seven companies in the running for the award. Four companies will each get to perform twice at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre in November and receive up to £1,000 expenses.

Creative Electric young company creating OK - Working with ice and exploring emotion.

Creative Electric young company creating OK – working with ice and exploring emotion.

Organised by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, the Chrysalis project aims to positively enhance the public perception of creative work by young people, attract new audiences to youth theatre arts, inspire Scotland’s youth arts sector and stimulate critical discussion.

YTAS board member Gillian Gourlay, who is also learning and outreach manager at the NTS, said: “With such a range of groups and individuals out there creating ambitious and powerful work, the time has come for us to shout about it – not just to family and friends but to everyone.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate the young talent that is out there by showcasing a selection of the new and diverse work that is being created both nationally and internationally in the youth arts sector.”

The Creative Electric production will be OK, which is currently in creation by its Young Company and will be premiered at the Hidden Door festival in May.

The Lyceum Youth Theatre are currently devising WANT, a word which is derived from two Old Norse words: vanta meaning “lacking” and vant, meaning “deficiency, insufficiency or shortage”. Pointing out we are lacking less but always wanting more, LYT ask: “what do we really want and how do we get it?”. WANT will premiere as a curtain raiser for the performance of The Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Lyceum on March 13.

An unusual yuletide request

Strange Town’s All I Want for Christmas is the Head of Johnny Murdock was written by Sam Siggs and created with feedback from Strange Town’s 16-18 year-old youth theatre. It tells of Amy ‘Squeaker’ Benson who has an unusual yuletide request… she’s after the head of her stepdad. Preferably in a bag and not for the reasons you might think.

Johnny Murdoch Crop

The piece was the hit of Strange Town’s December 2014 residency at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. It will be returning there for a one-off performance on March 25.

The other four nominees are HEADZ, from Liverpool based company 20 Stories High, Southside Stories from the Glasgow Citizens Theatre Young Company, Humming from Paperhouse, part of West Lothian’s Firefly Arts and Reproduction from Perth Youth Theatre at Horsecross Arts.

Criteria for inclusion in the project are that the performers should be aged 16-25, the work should be new, and it should be a joint effort between the group leader/practitioner and their young theatre-makers. A panel of judges will select the four final plays according to their direction, performance, technical elements, text and ethics

The four selected shows will each be performed twice over the two days, Friday 6 and Saturday 7 November 2015 at the Traverse.


Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX
Friday 13 March, 6pm. £5.
Details and tickets:

All I Want for Christmas is the Head of Johnny Murdock
The Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, EH1 1SR.
Wednesday March 25, 7.30pm.

Details and tickets to be announced at:

On dates to be confirmed at Hidden Door (Friday 22 – Saturday 30 May 2015).
The Old Street Lighting Depot, King’s Stables Road, Edinburgh.
Details and tickets to be announced at:

Chrysalis Award Performances
Friday 6-Saturday 7 November 2015
Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge Street EH1 2ED
Details and tickets to be announced on:

Details of the Chrysalis award are on the Youth Theatre Arts Scotland website:


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