The National Theatre of Scotland have announced an alternative theatrical online programme to reach isolated audiences across Scotland and beyond and support the Scottish theatre sector and creatives during the coronavirus outbreak.

Scenes for Survival is a new season of digital short artworks released across online platforms and channels over the next few months. It will provide paid opportunities for artists, celebrate Scotland’s exceptional national culture and raise money for the freelance community who are experiencing economic and emotional hardship. The project is being delivered in association with BBC Scotland and BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine project.

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland said:

“We are living through a period that is unprecedented in my lifetime. 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.

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”

A host of actors, writers and directors will be engaged and paid to create these short pieces of digital theatre remotely from their personal spaces of isolation. High profile artists involved will be given the opportunity to donate their artistic fee on a pay it forward basis to enable further artists to be involved and paid over the next few months.

The Company gratefully acknowledges the generosity of the artists who are supporting the project so far 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, Robert Softley Gale, Jenni Fagan, Greg Hemphill, May Sumbwanyambe, Val McDermid, Greg McHugh, Denise Mina and Ian Rankin.

The season is being produced in association with key Scottish theatres who have been critically hit economically by the COVID-19 virus. These include the Citizens Theatre, Imaginate, Tron Theatre, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, the Beacon Arts Centre, Perth Theatre and Horsecross Arts, Stellar Quines, Eden Court, Macrobert Arts Centre, Traverse Theatre, Dundee Rep, Birds of Paradise and the Byre Theatre.

NTS will also announce a call out opportunity for writers to be commissioned to write short new pieces for the project shortly. Creative teams/pairings for the project will be announced over the next few weeks.

All the National Theatre of Scotland’s digital offering during this time will be free for audiences and available via the Company’s online platforms and social media channels with Scenes for Survival content shared with BBC Arts, BBC Scotland and associate theatre organisations.

More information is available via the National Theatre of Scotland