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Lockdown play dates set for launch by National Theatre of Scotland after hook-up with Starcatchers and Imaginate; Arts workshops programme released by NTS aims to inspire children during coronavirus crisis


By Hector MacKenzie

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Play Dates is being launched to coincide with the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: John G. Moore
Play Dates is being launched to coincide with the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: John G. Moore

A NEW digital Play Dates programme of online arts workshops and activities is to be launched by the National Theatre of Scotland to offer stimulation during the coronavirus lockdown.

NTS has hooked up with children’s arts organisations Starcatchers and Imaginate in a bid to connect with families at home during the Covid-19 crisis.

The free programme has been created specially for lockdown period to offer children and young people, parents and carers online educational inspiration and theatrical home entertainment.

Launching next Tuesday (May 26) at 2pm, Play Dates is described as an eight-week digital programme of fun, interactive, participative and entertaining activities for children and their families created by some of Scotland’s leading creative practitioners and freelance artists.

A new Play Dates workshop will be released every day on the National Theatre of Scotland website and social media channels. It promises activities for all ages.

The Play Dates programme includes Connect, Create and Play workshops for ages eight-plus by theatre artist Fraser MacLeod looking at creating tongue twisters, playing games online with friends and family and how to make your own stop motion film.

Storify focuses on how to create stories at home using imagination and everyday surroundings presented by theatre-makers Sarah Rose Graber and Ruxy Cantir. It is for ages five and up.

Also scheduled is a Unicorn Dance Party "about finding the joy within us". It aims to unleash the "inner unicorn" inside of everyone.

In Everything's a Moving Picture, audio visual designer Lewis den Hertog uses video to tell stories with “stock” and archive footage, making your own footage at home and being creative with text and subtitles to make shows more interesting for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The series celebrates and offers fee-based employment to a number of talented freelance artists, technicians and practitioners who work regularly behind the scenes on the creation of world-class Scottish theatre.

All the Play Dates videos will be hosted together on the National Theatre of Scotland website so families can catch up with all the activities. In addition, a selection of curated online resources, including artistic demonstration videos, relating to previous National Theatre of Scotland projects will be hosted online.

Further summer Play Dates activities will be announced over the coming weeks.

Jackie Wylie, artistic director, National Theatre of Scotland said: "Scotland has a brilliant community of theatre-makers and creative practitioners who are unable to make theatre on our stages during these challenging times. We have commissioned this Play Dates series, alongside leading children’s theatre organisations, Starcatchers and Imaginate, to enable a group of facilitators to share their unique talents and skills with children and families at home. We hope to offer creative inspiration and high quality entertainment to children as well as fun for all the family to take part in whilst the schools are closed."

Where to watch Play Dates

nationaltheatrescotand.com/playdates

www.facebook.com/NationalTheatreScotland

www.youtube.com/NTSOnline


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