Case Study

Bringing 60 years of theatre history to life through an interactive online experience: Traverse Theatre and Cadpeople

Bringing 60 years of theatre history to life through an interactive online experience: Traverse Theatre and Cadpeople

As Scotland’s leading new work theatre, the Traverse Theatre is a dynamic centre for performance, experience and discovery. Over the years, the Traverse has made a local, national, and international impact with its work and assembled a unique collection of production materials. Ahead of the theatre’s 60th anniversary in 2023, they began cataloguing and digitising the organisation’s archives in an accessible way, to ignite interest in the Traverse’s history as a talent incubator, its current and its future work.

Through funding from Creative Informatics, the organisation issued a challenge for a creative company to create an online interactive experience that can help audiences, artists, academics, and other stakeholders visualise its global legacy, reinforcing the theatre’s unique position in Scotland’s performing arts and literary ecosystem.

Following the open call, Cadpeople were appointed as the challenge responders. They held a series of workshops with the team at the Traverse Theatre to define the project and identify all requirements. This collaborative approach with members of several of the Traverse’s departments, ensured a clarity of purpose, identification of key archival assets, and the development of a means of presentation which felt like an evolution of the venue itself into an online space. This quickly led to some adjustments to the initial proposal to keep the scale of work achievable and updateable within the resources available from both teams, as well as within budget. The platform launched on 16 August 2022 – during the busy Edinburgh Festival Fringe season, with a public event at which both the Traverse Team and Cadpeople shared the platform with industry colleagues and members of the Traverse Theatre audience across several of its decades. Looking to the future, Cadpeople feel incredibly positive about the experience and the potential to work with other arts clients to develop similar platforms to represent their work. They now have something to showcase the potential of undertaking a piece of work like this.

“Using the Traverse Theatre Platform as a showcase, we plan to target clients who are focused towards the performing arts. We plan to work with Creative Informatics and the Traverse Theatre to promote the end solution which will give Cadpeople a direct reference for this industry. We hope to work with the Traverse Theatre on future technology additions and expansions.”
Sean Bruce, Cadpeople


Navigation system of My Traverse browser. Coloured boxes are labelled with areas around the Traverse Theatre - Backstage, Stages, Bar.

My Traverse browser navigation.

The Traverse believes the project has opened up new revenue streams that will help it to expand its online archives and preserve, chart and interpret the historical – and ongoing – significance of Scotland’s new writing theatre, celebrating Traverse’s many achievements over the last 60 years, and laying strong foundations for future development of the platform to increase awareness of, and connection with, its ongoing work.


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