Puppet Animation Scotland has received funding through Creative Europe towards an exciting new project in partnership with Vilnisus Teatrus in Lithuania, Ljubljana Puppet Theatre in Slovenia and The Academy of Arts and Culture in Osjeck, Croatia. The International Emerging Critics Programme will offer 5-10 aspiring or emerging writers/bloggers based in Scotland the opportunity to develop their critical skills in writing about and discussing live performance over a two-year programme.

Participants of the programme will receive free tickets over the two years to attend a range of work within Scotland, expenses for travel and meals where required, mentorship and feedback on their writing, the chance to meet and interview artists and to connect with an international cohort of peers across four European countries. As the programme develops there may also be opportunities to have work published, or to attend festivals in partner countries.

The lead mentor for the project is arts critic and teacher Gareth K. Vile, who has over twenty years’ experience of both teaching and journalism. He is currently a PhD candidate at Glasgow University, exploring the relationship between performance and sequential art, as well the Theatre Editor of the List and a teacher of Latin at Loretto School in Musselburgh. He will be joined across the project by other mentors, who will cover specific areas of interest and concern in the critical process, and who have experience of critical writing, issues of inclusion and diversity and engaging with contemporary audiences through multiple media.

*Our definition of emerging is anyone who is relatively new to critical writing and feels they would benefit from this programme, therefore there is no upper age or upper experience limit. You do not need to have any prior experience to participate in the programme, only enthusiasm for seeing live work and writing about it. This opportunity would benefit 16+ with an interest in live theatre and performance – you might be an emergin writer or director, a university student, a final year school pupil with a desire to study theatre at university or an older professional looking to make a career shift or develop your critical creative skills. If you’re not sure whether this is the right opportunity for you, please feel free to contact Puppet Animation Scotland’s director for a relaxed and friendly chat: [email protected]

This is only one part of a larger project which aims to increase understanding of and conversations about contemporary puppetry across Europe, with publications and a collaborative online resource being generated which participants in this project will have opportunities to connect with.

If you think you might be interested in the programme, the process of letting us know is really informal – please drop an email to Dawn Taylor at [email protected] with a CV and two paragraphs about why you’re interested in taking part. Please fill in our voluntary Equalities Monitoring FormThe deadline for expressions of interest is 21 January, 12pm. 

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