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Published On: Thu, Dec 20th, 2012 at 5:13pm

Fifty playwrights help Traverse Theatre celebrate its 50th anniversary

The Traverse Theatre has announced highlights from its 50th anniversary season, which includes two new productions produced by the Traverse, and an ambitious year-long project that brings together 50 international playwrights.

The Traverse Fifty were selected after entering a playwriting competition held by the Edinburgh new-writing theatre in September 2012 called 500-word Plays for Edinburgh. Writers from across the globe submitted 630 scripts, and the 50 winning writers come from Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Croatia and Australia.

The winning 50 short plays will be performed together on 26 January, and the Traverse Fifty project will culminate in a new-writing festival at the theatre in the autumn.

The first of the two new plays produced by the Traverse is Found at Sea, adapted by David Greig from a sequence of poems by the novelist and poet Andrew Greig. It tells the tale an odyssey to Orkney by two old friends, and will star Tam Dean Burn and Lewis Howden (19-23 February).

In the second Traverse production, Rob Drummond makes his main-stage debut with Quiz Show, following huge critical acclaim for his 2012 Fringe show Bullet Catch. Drummond’s new play runs from 2 to 20 April.

The Traverse also hosts the sixth annual Manipulate visual theatre festival, which presents its biggest programme of puppetry, physical theatre and film to date (3-16 February). And the highly successful A Play, A Pie and a Pint series returns, also for its sixth season (19 February-23 March).

Among many productions from visiting companies are Mull Theatre’s My Name is Rachel Corrie (2 March), Firebrand’s production of White Rose by Peter Arnott (13-16 March), Lyceum Youth Theatre in What Are They Like? by Lucinda Coxon (14-16 March), and Jenna Watt’s Fringe First-winning Flâneurs (23-24 May). Ireland’s Gare St Lazare returns to the theatre with an adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s First Love (23-25 May).

Speaking about the anniversary, artistic director Orla O’Loughlin and executive director Linda Crooks said: ‘We are honoured to be at the helm as the Traverse embarks on its 50th year. The Traverse was conceived in 1963 with a desire to present world-class new work to the people of Edinburgh and beyond, and this still holds true today. This year our passion for new writing and commitment to presenting new work is as strong as ever, and we are delighted to launch a spring season jam packed with the very best theatre around. We are especially thrilled to be investing in 50 brand new theatrical voices with our Traverse Fifty project.’

Read more details at the Traverse Theatre‘s website.

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