News: Imaginate announces an exciting team of 12 artists to lead its Immerse school residencies programme

22 February 2022


As part of the residencies, pupils in six schools will spend one term working with two artists on developing new skills, exploring aspects of live performance and building their confidence.

The residencies are part of Immerse, an ambitious multi-year programme which embeds theatre, dance and creativity in six primary schools located in areas of high social deprivation including Brunstane, Muirhouse and Wester Hailes. As well as the residencies, pupils have been taking part in interactive in-school projects and performances and will also attend a show at the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival in May.

The artists are from diverse cultural and artistic backgrounds but are all interested in collaborating creatively with children and exploring important local and global themes through performances.

Thankfully, following the recent loosening of restrictions, all residencies are taking place in-person and include:

Canal View residency: Sanjay Lago and Afton Moran
Sanjay and Afton will create a short performance looking at identity, as well as build the confidence of the young people navigating society through this pandemic. They will work in all the local spaces from the outdoor playgrounds and woodlands to the canal itself.

Forthview residency: Lou Brodie and Finn Ross Russell
Lou and Fin will explore what wonderlands they can create, the rabbit holes they have gone down in recent times, the power and joy of imagination and what it means to grow up and grow into the adult world and rules around us. Each week they will be inspired by a new chapter of Carroll's tale, in addition to the music, art, fashion and political movements it has influenced in its long history. 

Brunstane residency: Xana Marwick and Marie-Gabrielle Koumenda
Xana and Marie-Gabrielle will create a brand new podcast series, The Brunstane Mysteries, with children taking on the roles of writer, storyteller, actor, researcher, musician and producer.

St Ninian’s RC residency: Sara Shaarawi and Serena Doran
Sara and Serena will help the pupils create a world of their own, asking questions and investigating possible answers. They'll create characters, places and stories. They'll create rules and then they'll break them.

Craigroyston residency: Jack Anderson and Susie McGuiness
Jack and Susie will be creating a performance, harnessing the children’s natural physical exuberance,  using movement and creativity to explore the meaning of change – the unknown, beginnings and endings.

St David’s RC residency: Eoin McKenzie and Francesca McCoy
Eoin and Francesca will explore the uniqueness of “the stage”,  inviting the pupils to re-imagine classical theatrical texts, concoct their own performance, and present an innovative performative experience to an invited audience.

The Immerse programme is funded through the PLACE Programme, a partnership between the Scottish Government - through Creative Scotland - the City of Edinburgh Council and the Edinburgh Festivals, and supported by sponsorship from Baillie Gifford.