Engine Room 2020 - Artist Development Programme

A nation-wide, year-long programme of unique artist, sector and art-form development opportunities.

Engine Room is the National Theatre of Scotland’s artist development programme. With our Theatre Without Walls ethos at its heart, we bring artists together to develop skills, networks and create new work at the greatest reach of their imaginations and ambitions.  The Engine Room programme comprises of a series of workshops, events and gatherings for Scottish artists across the country; Starter our funded residency programme; and Just Start Hereour annual cross-art-form festival of new works-in-progress.

In 2020 Engine Room will partner with venues and organisations across the country, bringing activity to local artists in Dumfries, the Borders, Ayr and Ayrshire, and the Highlands as well as activities run at the National Theatre of Scotland’s base, Rockvilla, Glasgow.  Partners will include: The Stove Network (Dumfries), Live Borders, and the Ayr Gaiety. Engine Room will continue to work in partnership with //BUZZCUT// to expand and develop live art networks outside of the central belt. And through Starter, will offer open call, paid research and development residencies for creatives including artists of colour, d/Deaf artists, artists based in Ayrshire, artists with experimental practice working in remote rural locations (in partnership with //BUZZCUT//), artists interested in making work about climate crisis and playwright. Scroll down for more information on what will be on offer in 2020.

See What’s On now.



About Engine Room:

Engine Room activity is either free to the artists or the artist is paid to engage. For activity outside of the central belt locally based artists will be prioritised. A contribution towards travel and other expenses can be made available, email engineroom@nationaltheatrescotland.com to find out more. And we will endeavour to meet all access requirements, please flag these at the point of booking.

To be first in the loop as new activity and opportunities go live, sign up to our mailing list below.

If you’re an artist looking to build a relationship with us as a company then we’d always recommend letting us know if you’ve any work (including works in progress, scratches etc) by emailing: invitations@nationaltheatrescotland.com

If you’d like to pitch an idea to the company, the process is outlined here.



Engine Room is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

What’s On:

Further sessions and opportunities will be announced later in 2020.

Process Pop-in: Absolutely, Awesome, Affirmative

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Engine Room Assembly: The Enemy

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Process Pop-in: The Enemy

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Engine Room: Communal Work Days

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Engine Room: Assembly - Ferry Tales & Site-Specific Work

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Engine Room: Process Pop In - Ferry Tales

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Engine Room: Ideas and Career Surgeries

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Coming Soon:

Artists! Organise!
Two open call opportunities called Artists! Organise! for artists to gather as communities, with a budget of £500 and inkind support, to talk and learn about the things they think are most important right now.

Artists Survival Kit
A session in partnership with Workers Theatre as part of their February festival Something Has To Happen, a facilitated space for finding solidarity in the struggle and sharing tools for survival as an artist under capitalism led by Julia Taudevin.

A performative installation and series of gatherings led by Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh inviting artists and cultural workers to map their journeys in the sector and reflect on the complexity of borders and barriers navigated, experimented with, drawn and erased.

A coming together to connect with and rediscover the joy of art-making, the first iteration of which will be led by Laurie Brown and Geraldine Heaney and will invite artists to share what excites them about art and use the resources of Rockvilla to make something together in a day.