SDTN at the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival with Imaginate

SDTN and Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, 2017

The annual Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, produced by Imaginate, hosts theatre makers and producers from around the world during a week of performances showcasing the best of theatre for children and young people. This year the Scottish Drama Training Network partnered with Imaginate to create a Delegate Pathway for our Network Members and to offer three Technical Theatre placements.
On Tuesday 30 May Imaginate hosted a specially curated day for SDTN Network staff and students, who were invited to apply for eight delegate places. The group of three staff and five students, from West College Scotland, Queen Margaret University, University of Highlands and Islands, Edinburgh College and Dundee and Angus College were hosted by Lu Kemp, Artistic Director of Perth Theatre. They attended two shows, Evil and Falling Dreams, a celebration sharing of the ‘Wee Night Out’ project, and a work in progress performance, as well joining a very informative session with members of the Imaginate team.
Our thanks to Lu Kemp, Fiona Ferguson, Pamela Walker, Noel Jordan and Paul Fitzpatrick for making the SDTN delegates very welcome.

SDTN meets the Imaginate team

Feedback from SDTN Delegates:

“Thank you for a well organised, educational and entertaining day.”
“My highlight was definitely the chance to see Evil and learning about the surrounding Wee Night Out project.”

SDTN also supported three Technical Theatre work placements, working across Edinburgh on site specific productions and at the Traverse Theatre. Our Communications Assistant, QMU Arts Festivals and Cultural Management student, Denitsa Pashova also worked as one of the many volunteers to help run the festival, read on to find out about her behind the scenes experience:

I’m in a sea of orange t-shirts, volunteers greeting the public and a team of staff rushing around with tasks. A tiny woman in a snail costume/vehicle is casually strolling, making funny faces and blowing bubbles while a small group of families follow her. In another corner, a crowd of children are watching a postman on a bicycle perform tricks. I turn around and see a group of clowns in green security jackets making faux arrests.  A few more steps and I see a volunteer persuading parents to try on a costume that helps their child to look like a giant. This is Imaginate.

Imaginate Edinburgh International Children's Festival

I volunteered at the Opening Weekend of the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival in the National Museum of Scotland. It was a colourful, cheerful and very lively sample of what one might expect from the festival. There were various activities that volunteers were involved in such as ushering and greeting people, leafleting, taking surveys and generally giving information and assistance to visitors. As a volunteer at Imaginate, I experienced a world-class festival where I could soak up the atmosphere and learn from a working environment. The duties that volunteers had were simple and allowed me to have fun and most importantly, network with the industry.  Imaginate provided a variety of social nights for volunteers where we had a chance to communicate and share insights with the organizing team. Other perks of volunteering were the considerate and positive treatment from the Imaginate team, a bright orange T-shirt, a great training evening and lunch vouchers for volunteers that were helping out all day.  Theatre-loving volunteers also benefited from seeing incredible pieces of theatre and dance such as the play Evil at the Lyra Theatre, which I was ushering at.

Imaginate EICF 17

Oh, I forgot to mention the stunning visual play, Falling Dreams, I was invited to at the beginning of the festival and the amazing thank-you night organized for volunteers.

As an Arts Management student, the experience at Imaginate was a very relevant one as I had the chance to meet industry professionals, experience the working atmosphere of a very-well established festival and to further develop important skills such as communication, team work and problem solving. I would recommend volunteering at this festival to anyone who is interested in a career in the arts!

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