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National Theatre of Scotland's PLAY DATES Expands with New Artists & Activities Announced for Digital Series

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National Theatre of Scotland's PLAY DATES Expands with New Artists & Activities Announced for Digital Series

The National Theatre of Scotland, in association with leading children's arts organisations Starcatchers and Imaginate, has been connecting creatively with families at home during the COVID crisis. Launched in May 2020, the digital Play Dates programme of arts workshops and activities has been developed specially for this ongoing period, offering children and young people, parents and carers educational inspiration and theatrical home entertainment.

From Tuesday 28 July, a new series of interactive workshops made by freelance creative practitioners and artists will be released online, extending the existing Play Dates weekly programme and providing fun, entertaining activities for younger children and families during the summer holidays.

That's Not Your Spoon/ Chan E Sin Do Spàin is a new series of animated storytelling videos for younger children at home, presented in both English and Gaelic, from creative practitioners Ruth Hamilton and Laura Haylock. The series will encourage and inspire imaginative play through the re-use of bits and pieces that can be found around the house, transforming everyday objects into fantastical props for stories and play.

That's Not Your Spoon/ Chan E Sin Do Spàin will be the first Gaelic language series to appear as part of Play Dates. The first episode will be released on 28 July.

On 10 August a new project from lead artist Mamoru Iriguchi and musical director and dramaturg Greg Sinclair, titled World Jam, will bring the summer Play Dates season to a close, and celebrate the return to school for children in Scotland. Premiering online, World Jam will be a special international musical event, involving children from Scotland and across the world singing Auld Lang Syne in their own language.

That's Not Your Spoon/ Chan E Sin Do Spàin- Tue 28, Wed 29, Thu 30, Fri 31 July at 2pm

A series of animated videos presented by creative practitioners Ruth Hamilton and Laura Haylock, inspiring imaginative play through a joyful re-use of the bits and pieces young children can find around the house. The episodes are presented in English and Gaelic.

Two friends choose an everyday object, and imagine it taking different fantastical forms in all sorts of situations and stories. When they run out of ideas for this improvised plaything, the challenge is for families at home to come up with their own fun ways to play!

Episode 1: That's Not Your Spoon/Chan e sin do spàin

Episode 2: That's Not Your Book/Chan e sin do leabhar

Episode 3; That's Not Your Pillowcase/Chan e sin do chluasag

Episode 4: That's Not the Story/ Chan e sin an sgeulachd.

For ages 3 +

a-? World Jam - Mon 10 Aug

A special international digital artwork celebrating the return to school for children in Scotland, involving children from Scotland and around the world created by lead artist Mamoru Iriguchi with musical director and dramaturg Greg Sinclair. World Jam is a conceptual Zoom jam session with children in different time zones singing Auld Lang Syne in their own language, accompanied by a young Scottish piper. This project will be a reminder of the joy of physically being with others, as well as the desire of feeling connected to people all around the planet.

For all ages:

Since beginning on 28 May, Play Dates has seen new episodes released from Tuesday to Friday each week throughout the summer. The series continues to provide fun, interactive, participative and entertaining activities for children and their families created by some of Scotland's leading creative practitioners and freelance artists.

There are currently thirty Play Dates episodes available for families to watch and get involved with on The National Theatre of Scotland website. The programme has included interactive storytelling workshops, freewheeling Unicorn Dance Parties, a step-by-step guide to creating your own theatre show from the comfort of your home, video workshops to enhance your storytelling, and special games and exercises to play through video calls with friends.

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

Jackie Wylie, Artistic Director, National Theatre of Scotland says

"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"

Rhona Matheson, Chief Executive of Starcatchers says

"We're delighted to be working with National Theatre of Scotland to help develop a Digital Play Dates programme that includes some fantastic arts experiences designed especially for families with babies and younger children.

We've seen so many examples over the past few weeks of young children and their families' wonderful capacity for creativity. We hope Play Dates will help bring more inspiration, magic and joy - particularly on those tough days - remembering that it's the process that matters. All of the experiences will allow children to explore the world around them, develop curiosity and imagination and, most importantly, provide opportunities for connection."

Paul Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive, Imaginate says

"Imaginate is really proud of this association with The National Theatre of Scotland and Starcatchers on Play Dates. As well as offering new artistic experiences for children and families to inspire their imagination and exercise their emotions, Play Dates will also create new, paid work for artists in Scotland. Imaginate's Ideas Fund Projects has already reached thousands of children so we're excited to reach even more children with Play Dates."

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