"When theatres shut their doors in March 2020, we paused our programme of regular paid artist opportunities in the hope that lock-down would last a few months at most. Instead, the ongoing impact of the pandemic has led us to radically rethink how to evolve in response to increased inequities in our industry. After a thorough examination of everything we have learned from three years of Engine Room activity, and consultation with a range of freelancers across art forms, roles and backgrounds, we have co-designed a new model of open opportunities that places long term relationship building with artists who have not yet had a platform at National Theatre of Scotland at its heart. Through the offer of greater financial resource and longer term, embedded residencies with the Company, we wish to nurture new voices and projects that will impact our future programmes and diversify the Scottish Theatre and Performance landscape."

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director

About the Programme

Building upon our previous Engine Room Starter programme, through these residencies we hope to build and deepen relationships with artists. We also will explore which projects may be further developed with us in future. For these residencies, we are looking for artists who can speak to a number of our programme priorities in innovative and interesting ways. These programme priorities are across theme, form and experience. These are:

Values/ themes:

  • Work that explores climate justice (such as climate change, natural environment, sustainability, conservation, communities on frontline/ being hit hardest with extreme changes in environment)
  • Work that is joyful and uplifting for audiences (expressing, or causing great pleasure and happiness)


  • work that can tour to rural and remote village hall locations across the whole of Scotland
  • work that is made with and/or explores new technologies

Background/ Lived Experience:

  • Work by artists with heritage from the South Asian Diaspora
  • Work by artists who are disabled, Deaf, neurodivergent, and other related experiences including chronic illness and mental ill health

Supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation