• Xanara

I am an artist based in Scotland who makes contemporary performance generally with, for, or by children and young people. I am also Artistic Director of Stadium Rock, an organisation that makes exciting, visual and often interactive performance work and prioritises the sharing of children’s stories; specifically, for audiences of both adults and children.

I call myself a Performance Maker, which is the best title that I have been able to find to describe what I do which is, broadly, make performances. I generally lead on the authorship or creation of original work in the role of playwright, director or live artist but I might also be found performing, producing and working in a creative-learning role. And I often take on the set and costume design too.

The work that I make spans everything from new-writing in theatres to interactive clothes-swapping installations in corridors, to live-directed and improvised gigs in music venues.

My practice is, and has always been, intentionally diverse (I try to take on the role that is appropriate to the work and choose the medium/s or style/s that most speak to the story that I aim to share) but a clear through-line can be seen in my focus on work that is for, by, with or about children and young people.


I often question why this is and the best answer that I can find is to wonder why everyone else doesn’t feel inspired by and responsible to children and young people.  It’s kind of a no brainer, right? Children are the future. We were all children once. We all still have that child inside us. That child is us. We are all children. We are all babies. We are all teenagers. For adults, these are facts. Why would I not want to connect with… everyone?

As both I and my practice have matured I have also become increasingly bold in acknowledging that I want to explore my politics and social beliefs in my work too. I don’t want to tell anyone else what to think but, if I’m honest, I do want to express opinions about social responsibility and share some of what I have learned over many years working in some of the most deprived communities in the UK and some of the most privileged.  It’s not that fashionable to say but, yeah, I want to positively-agitate. I want to be part of the goodness-revolution.


When I’m not working I am living with my family in the same little Scottish seaside resort that my mum, grandparents and great-grandparents lived in.

I have been lucky enough to work with and be supported by some fantastic organisations over the ten or so years since I graduated – including Summerhall as an Artist in Residence 2013-14; Platform, Glasgow where I was Drama Artist and Theatre Programmer 2010-13 and The Royal Lyceum Theatre for whom I was Youth Theatre Leader 2005-08. I have also co-founded Stadium Rock working alongside the fantastic Katy Wilson and Dougal Marwick. And, not to forget, my first ever forays into children’s theatre working with the very talented Jo Timmins under the title Cat in a Cup Theatre co.  I am also a board member for Rhubaba Gallery and Studios.


Working with Imaginate

Xana was Associate Artist with Imaginate in 2016-2017 and is a current Accelerator Artist 2019-2020.