Media Release: National Theatre of Scotland and Bank of Scotland announce plans to support emerging theatre makers

THE National Theatre of Scotland and the Bank of Scotland announce the successful candidates of two new programmes aimed at developing the talents of writers and directors.

The New Directors Placement Programme and the Emerging Artists Attachment Programme are being supported by the Bank of Scotland and will enable three directors and four emerging artists the opportunity to work with the National Theatre of Scotland for one year.

The New Directors Placements are undertaken by Amanda Goughan, Ross Mackay and Jenna Watt.

The successful candidates of the New Director Placement Programme will each be given the opportunity to develop their skills working as assistant directors on one of three major National Theatre of Scotland productions, The Missing, 27 and Christmas Carol.

The Emerging Artists supported by the National Theatre of Scotland and Bank of Scotland are: Alan Bissett, Amanda Monfrooe, Stef Smith and Molly Taylor.

The Emerging Artists Attachment Programme is an attachment scheme which offers monetary compensation and access to creative resources in order to allow the artists the freedom to fully concentrate on and develop their work.

New Directors Placement Programme Biogs

Amanda Gaughan has just finished her year-long position as trainee director at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow. Amanda has also directed work at the Arches and Tron theatre.

As part of the Bank of Scotland New Directors Scheme, Amanda will be working on the production of The Missing by Andrew O’Hagan, directed by John Tiffany in September 2011.

Of her future involvement with National Theatre of Scotland, Amanda said: “As a director; I aim to make work that I have a visceral connection with and that will interrogate and challenge our views and perceptions of contemporary society.”

Ross Mackay trained at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh specialising in directing and went on to continue his professional development undertaking an apprenticeship at The Bread and Puppet Theatre in Vermont, USA.

As part of the Bank of Scotland New Directors Scheme, Ross will be working on the production of A Christmas Carol, directed by Graham McLaren in December 2011.

Jenna Watt is a Scottish director and live artist, originally from Inverness and now living in Edinburgh.

Jenna is passionate about theatre in Scotland and directing new work, new writing, and ultimately combining all these elements with her live art practice to create engaging, risky and theatrical performances.

As part of the Bank of Scotland New Directors Scheme, Jenna will be working on the production of 27, written by Abi Morgan and directed by Vicky Featherstone in Autumn 2011.

Jenna said: “It’s a real privilege to have the opportunity to work alongside Vicky Featherstone and the National Theatre of Scotland and I have no doubt that this will be a valuable experience that will inform my practice and help me realise my own ambitions as a Scottish director.”

Emerging Artists Attachment Programme Biogs

Alan Bissett is the author of the novels Boyracers (Polygon, 2001), The Incredible Adam Spark (Headline, 2005), and Death of a Ladies’ Man (Hachette Scotland, July 2009), which was shortlisted for Scottish Arts Council Fiction of the Year. His fourth novel, Pack Men, will be released in August of this year.

Recently, Alan adapted the Venezuelan play The Confidant by Gilberto Pinto for the National Theatre of Scotland’s International Play, Pie and a Pint season at Oran Mor in Glasgow and The Traverse, Edinburgh.

Amanda Monfrooe is an American writer, director, and performer based in Glasgow.  After completing her undergraduate theatre studies degree at Boston University, Amanda worked in Chicago as a designer, director, and actor with new writing companies Polarity Ensemble Theatre and Hypatia Theatre Company.

Amanda moved to the UK in 2008 to pursue her master’s degree in Dramaturgy at Glasgow University. Amanda founded Pony Pie, a platform to focus and network her performance work.

As a part of the Emerging Artists Attachment Programme, Amanda hopes to produce several scripts, while building on her existing skills as a director of her own work, and improving her techniques in crafting objects in collaboration with other creatives.

Stef Smith studied Drama and Theatre Arts specialising in Directing at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. Since graduating in 2009, she has worked professionally as a director and writer. Stef is currently best known for supplying the text for the critically acclaimed RoadKill (Fringe 2010, 2011).

Stef has also been awarded the 2011 New Playwrights’ Award by the Playwrights’ Studio Scotland to develop her next show Jamais Vu which will be staged as a rehearsed reading during Arches Live in the autumn of 2011. Stef also writes for BBC Radio Drama and most recently wrote a play for BBC Scotland entitled Tea and Symmetry.

Molly Taylor is an actor who has recently begun writing and performing her own work. For the National Theatre of Scotland she recently wrote and performed, to great critical acclaim, her second piece Love Letters to the Public Transport System.

Based on Molly Taylor’s quest to find the people who have the invaluable but often thankless task of working in the public transport industry, this one-woman show explored the ordinary and extraordinary journeys people make every day, and set out to thank the people who make them possible.

Vicky Featherstone, artistic director, National Theatre of Scotland, said: “The National Theatre of Scotland’s success over the last five years has been built on the talent of Scottish artists.

“This extraordinary Pioneering Partnership with Bank of Scotland ensures we can continue to develop the unrivalled talent we discover as we travel throughout the country.

“It enables Scotland to retain and build on its growing national and international reputation for being cultural leaders and to give audiences the length and breadth of the land exceptional life-changing experiences.”

Susan Rice, managing director, Lloyds Banking Group Scotland, says: “Bank of Scotland is absolutely delighted to be supporting both the National Theatre of Scotland’s New Directors scheme and the Emerging Artists initiative.

“The programmes embody the Bank’s aim of nurturing and developing talent in Scotland and are at the heart of our Pioneering Partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland.

“These talented young directors and artists have a unique opportunity to learn from some of Scotland’s finest theatre practitioners to develop their skills and ideas and we are looking forward to seeing the results.”


Emma Schad, press manager

Tel: +44 (0)141 227 9016 E: emma.schad@nationaltheatrescotland.com

Andrew Neilson, press officer

Tel: +44 (0) 141 227 9497 E: andrew.neilson@nationaltheatrescotland.com


1. The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government. Since its launch in February 2006, the National Theatre of Scotland has been involved in creating over 137 productions in 125 different locations. With no building of its own, the company takes theatre all over Scotland and beyond, working with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theatre of the highest quality. It takes place in the great buildings of Scotland, but also in site-specific locations, airports and tower blocks, community halls and drill halls, ferries and forests. The company has performed to almost 600,000 people, across three continents.

2. Bank of Scotland is a long-standing supporter of sports and the arts in Scotland. Through their sponsorships they aim to support emerging talent across Scotland. Bank of Scotland currently has partnerships with a wide range of Scottish sporting and cultural bodies including Imaginate, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Scottish Football Association and the Great Scottish Run. As part of the Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of Scotland is a Proud Partner for Scotland for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Their mission is to inspire and support young people, colleagues, communities and businesses across Scotland all the way to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond, through cultural and sporting activities.

3. We would like to make a request for your support: Corporate sponsorship of the National Theatre of Scotland is crucial to its future. As arts supporters yourselves we hope you will help us in maintaining this important portion of our income and healthy relationships with sponsors by mentioning them in your coverage. This makes a real difference to the National Theatre of Scotland. Mentions are counted and used as an evaluation of projects. Please credit our sponsors.

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Contact: Andrew Neilson
Phone: 01412279497
Email: andrew.neilson@nationaltheatrescotland.com
Website: http://www.nationaltheatrescotland.com