Run by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, the Chrysalis Festival is a youth festival that provides a platform for young performers between the age of 14 and 22 to put on their work in a professional environment and be provided with praise and criticism. In discussion with Catherine Makin, The Student has been given an insight into the festival and the exciting things to come this year.
With the festival having its origins in 2011 with plans for a ‘high profile platform’ that would provide ‘something more critical’ for budding actors, Makin described how this experience provides a place for students both doing devised or scripted work on a professional stage.
The programme itself is chosen through a ‘consortium of theatre professionals’ going out to watch the shows which have applied to attend. From there, a programme is then created which often leads to an emerging theme.
Makin commented on the fact that while no theme is ever specifically chosen, each year there seems to be an underlying theme or concept that students of all ages and across the country are eager to engage with. This year, when one looks at the programme, the productions all seem to focus on hyper political or environmental subjects that are debated on the international stage.
For students in Edinburgh, this festival is also a fantastic opportunity to meet others fascinated in theatre and get involved in the workshops run during the festival.
Makin describes the event as ‘such a mix of work… there are so many ways into it’. The work of these productions seems pertinent for all and gone is the time where youth theatre was pushed to the side. This is the work of many potential performers to be, but also talented actors who are just starting on their careers.
If you have not booked yourself in already, get yourself down to the Traverse and see this fantastic, talent-filled festival – it is sure to be a fascinating experience for any theatre-goer.
Chrysalis Festival from Youth Theatre Arts Scotland
The Traverse Theatre
17th – 19th November
Photo Credit: Joel Chester Fields