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Traverse Theatre

As Scotland’s leading new writing theatre, the Traverse Theatre is a dynamic centre for performance, experience and discovery, often referred to as Edinburgh’s ‘beating heart of the Fringe’ in August.

The Traverse presents a year-round programme bursting with new stories and live performances that challenge, inform and entertain, empowering artists and audiences to make sense of the world today, and providing a safe space to question, learn, empathise and – crucially – encounter different people and experiences.

The Challenge

Over the years, 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, the Traverse team have committed to 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 programme, and its future work.

Image credit: Lara Cappelli

They are currently working with Dr Andy Hendry from Queen Margaret University, who is leading on the cataloguing of Traverse’s extensive archives which include published playtexts, show books and rehearsal scripts, rig plans, model box designs, posters and brochures, photographs, as well as film and audio in a mixture of digital and analogue formats.


Traverse Theatre’s challenge is 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. The ambition of this challenge is to 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.

Finding a solution to this Challenge would allow the Traverse to engage with new and existing audiences worldwide, providing a platform to explore the Traverse’s archives and opportunities to capture the living, oral history of people who have interacted with the theatre and its work.

Image credit: Lara Cappelli

Theatre and the live arts are an experiential form, and the Traverse team are eager for the challenge respondent to incorporate an interactive element that would enable people to share their personal experiences of the Traverse, showcasing the long-term impact of their commissions and productions.


This would also provide the Traverse team with a deeper insight into their audiences’ interests, which can then form the basis of a data-driven approach to future programming.

A successful solution would provide an interactive digital resource that could be used in all areas of the Traverse’s work from creative learning and development to marketing and audience engagement, offering a unique insight into the theatre’s history and telling the Traverse story in an innovative and exciting way.

Applications for this Challenge Project are now closed. If you have any questions please contact our team at creativeinformatics@ed.ac.uk.


If you are interested in responding to this challenge please contact the Creative Informatics team.

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