Imaginate 2021 Call-Out

Jul 10 2020 | By More

Children’s Festival modifies format for 2021

Imaginate has put a call-out for ideas from Scottish companies of projects to run in a modified 2021 Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, which is slated for 26 May to 6 June.

The festival is expected to change format to allow for the vagaries put on forward planning for theatre by the Covid pandemic. Imaginate, which runs the festival, says it expects many performances to be presented in schools.

Unlike in recent years the family programme it is likely to be mostly outdoors, although there might be some performances in venues with social distancing.

Edinburgh International Children’s Festival logo.

In its commission call-out, Imaginate says: “We see the new practical challenges as an opportunity for experimentation: trying new ways to connect with our audiences, while maintaining our reputation of presenting the world’s best performances for children.”

Imaginate is looking to commission a new performance work targeted at the 4 to 8 years age group. It should be flexible enough to be performed in low-tech environments, such as school classrooms, and need a minimal set-up.

The commission will be awarded at the discretion of the festival director and the deadline for formal application is Friday 31 July 2020 at 5pm.

The commission will be for new, not existing, work. Although work already in development can be considered.

flexibility and adaptability

The company says: “Covid-19 has made us relook at how we traditionally deliver the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival.

“Whilst we can’t be certain about what social distancing measures will be in place in May 2021 we are keen to proceed with our planning taking into account as many variables as possible.

“In the first instance this means we are not looking for works that need to be delivered in traditional theatre venues – flexibility and adaptability is key.”

The key criteria by which all applications will be judged include:
 The quality of the idea;
 The relevance of the work for family audiences;
 The suitability of the work for touring to a range of school environments that are traditionally non-theatre spaces; and
 Consideration for staging in an as yet to be determined social distance context.

Imaginate says it is encouraging applications from any individual artist, collective of company based in Scotland who is interested in making performance for the family sector. They don’t have to have a previous association with either Imaginate or the sector.

Imaginate adds that it is “particularly keen to attract submissions from artists with disability, d/Deaf artists, Black/+ People of Colour, those from minority ethnic communities and all those who feel their voices and stories are not commonly represented.”


The Selected artist(s) for the Commission will receive:
A budget (to be negotiated) to cover fees for the creative team, research time, travel, materials and company fees;
Inclusion in the 2021 Edinburgh International Children’s Festival (26 May – 6 June)
Ongoing support, where helpful, from Imaginate including creating a budget, scheduling, contracting the team, artistic feedback and advice
 Full marketing support and a range of archival material including production stills and video to support future life of the work
 Selected artists will be offered time with Imaginate to create a budget and delivery plan so it can be sure the idea can be realised to its full potential.

Proposals should be sent to with Festival Production Commission 2021 as the subject title by Friday 31 July 2020.


Full details of the call out are here:
Questions about the process should go to:
Further information about the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival


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