Shapeshift Aberdeen

DISCOVER. DECIDE. devise your own theatre.

Date of Activity: October 2023
Location: Aberdeen City
Age Range: 17-25

A group of young people all gather on a wooden floor in various positions. Some sit on wooden boxes, some sit crossed legged on the floor, some are standing. All have serious looks on their face. A black curtain is behind them in the background and the scene is awash in a strong pink hue.
A young performer leans forward with her side to the camera, face covered by her hair. She faces another young person on their knees with their arms outstretched in front of them. The two figures are surrounded by young people sitting cross-legged on a wooden floor. The scene is washed in bright yellow light.

Shapeshift aberdeen was a week-long course of workshops and learning sessions for young theatre-makers based in aberdeen interested in developing their devising skills.

The project was inspired by conversations with young artists during Encounters, where they shared their experiences of the gaps in provision, networking and general opportunities to ‘make theatre’. Through a series of exercises, collaborative making and Q&As, a group of 20 young people worked alongside Lead Artist Sally Charlton and Trainee Artist Annabel Lunney, exploring innovative approaches to devising theatre and creating new work from scratch. The workshops helped shape a safe and creative space for the group to collaborate and explore new theatre-making techniques, which concluded with a light touch sharing at His Majesty’s Theatre Studio on the last day of the project.

Shapeshift Aberdeen equipped participants with a toolkit towards establishing their own theatre and devising practice. The project created a framework that supports their agency as artists, while providing space for creative stretch, experimentation and ambition as they begin their unique journeys into the industry.

If you didn’t participate in the project, you can still learn from it! Lead Artist Sally compiled a brief directory towards devising, outlining the inspiring companies, practices and devising techniques she introduced to the group during the project. Also, a vlog from the week delves into Annabel’s experiences being a Trainee on a Scottish Youth Theatre project, as well as what some of the participants have learned from the week of workshops. Find both on Dialogue:

In the centre is a young performer gesturing with both arms outstretched. They wear a black and white striped long-sleeved top. Around them are other performers in various positions with flailing arms.


Participant during Shapeshift Aberdeen

“TRYing different styles of workshops gives me more confidence as a performer.”

Participant during Encounters Tour

Shapeshift Aberdeen was produced by Scottish Youth Theatre in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts, NESCOL and Aberdeen Arts Centre, and supported by Aberdeen City Council Creative Funding. 

CREative team

Lead Artist – Sally Charlton
Trainee Artist – Annabel Lunney

Supported by
Aberdeen City Council Creative Funding

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