Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival Schools Programme 2024:

The Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival is offering an exciting programme of schools engagement activities throughout 2024 with Imaginate, Theatre in Schools, Independent Arts, National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Opera.

Please take a look at the details below and get in touch with Liam Russell, Youth Development Officer if you would like your school to be involved in any of our activities. (liam@dgartsfestival.org.uk)

  • Theatre in Schools & Imaginate present Going for Gold: Me and Linford Christie: Tuesday 5th & Wednesday 6th March – in your school.
  • Independent Arts Projects (IAP)in association with National Theatre of Scotland present Shō and the Demons of the Deep: Tuesday 21st & Wednesday 22nd May at The Bridge in Dumfries
  • Scottish Opera on Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th and Friday 31st May 2024 – in your school.


Theatre in Schools programme in partnership with the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival:

Tuesday 5th & Wednesday 6th March – in your school.

Please respond to Julian Almeida at tiss@imaginate.org.uk or julian@imaginate.org.uk to book. Call 0131 225 8050 and ask for Julian with any questions.

What are we offering your school?

Imaginate and Theatre in Schools Scotland are keen to reach schools for the first time. We are working in partnership with Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival who are kindly covering the full cost of 2 days of TISS, so the experience would be free of cost to your school.

The cost for this is usually £500 + VAT, with a subsidy to support small schools to take part at a reasonable lower cost.

The show that will visit your school is called Going for Gold: Me and Linford Christie.

Going for Gold is a solo show about one girl’s journey to Olympic success.
Vickie wants to compete at the Olympics.
There is only one obstacle; she isn’t very good at sport.
Yet despite the odds, her love for athletics takes her all the way to London 2012.

Inspired by creator Victoria’s own childhood obsession with athletics, this is a story about loving failure and dreaming big – even if there’s no chance you’ll make that dream come true.

“…a lovely message… : dream big, handle failure and, above all, have fun.” The Stage ★★★★
“…a gorgeous, wise and colourful show about how to find friends and build a worthwhile life without being a star; and how to find out, gradually, what your real talents are, and what makes you happy.” The Scotsman ★★★★

Class Level/Age: P5 – P7 /  (age 8+)

Audience size: Up to 100 per performance (200 per day)

Running time: 60 mins

Space required: A clear space with minimum dimensions of 10m x 10m, with 2x power sockets

Dates: 4th or 5th March 2024

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A1T27w4aW4


What is Theatre in Schools Scotland (TISS)?

Theatre in Schools Scotland brings bold, inspiring, live theatre and dance productions into Scotland’s primary schools and nurseries. The year-round programme of touring performances offers schools and teachers the opportunity to present acclaimed shows, created especially for younger audiences, for pupils at school. Performances take place in the school hall or in classrooms and are available to book anywhere in Scotland.

TISS is a project managed in partnership between the National Theatre of Scotland and Imaginate

TISS: https://www.theatreinschoolsscotland.co.uk/

National Theatre of Scotland: https://www.nationaltheatrescotland.com/

Imaginate: https://www.imaginate.org.uk/

What does TISS offer?

Participating in TISS means that a theatre or dance performance comes into your school hall for one day, and your pupils get to watch a live performance. On the day, the artists will perform the same theatre or dance show twice. Sometimes they can also offer a Q&A session or short workshop. Most shows also have pre- and/or post- performance learning resources that you can use to extend the experience, and you can always use Imaginate’s free online resource onTAP to find and facilitate activities pre- and post-performance. (onTAP can be used for any other performance your pupils watch as well – please have a look!)

onTAP: https://www.imaginate.org.uk/ontap/

Each show has a minimum room/hall size they need to safely perform, but are designed to fit in most school halls and to be easy to arrange, with minimal impact on the school day. They bring everything they need along with them (except sometimes ask to use your chairs/benches/gym mats if available) and need 1-2 hours to set up. They usually perform once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and then pack up and leave the hall in 2 hours or less.


Independent Arts Projects (IAP)in association with National Theatre of Scotland present Shō and the Demons of the Deep

Tuesday 21st & Wednesday 22nd May at The Bridge in Dumfries

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this opportunity further, please contact Liam Russell, our Youth Development Officer: liam@dgartsfestival.org.uk

Access to the show is provided by the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival and there will be no costs to the schools for attending.

What are we offering your school?

We are excited to tell you about a brand-new theatrical production that we believe will be a fantastic addition to your school’s learning experience, providing links across the curriculum from Primary 4 to Primary 7. Shō and the Demons of the Deep by Zoë Bullock, that will entertain and engage with a range of curriculum areas.

The themes explored in this performance are relevant and thought-provoking, making it a perfect fit for young audiences. Shō and the Demons of the Deep explores themes of intergenerational connections, climate change, making a difference no matter your size/age, resilience, and the feelings of fear and anxiety.

For this performance, resources will be available that align with the curriculum, providing children the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions and reflections about story and the world around them.

Here is a glimpse of what your students can expect from this extraordinary show:

Expressive Arts: storytelling and opportunities for children to explore creative forms of expression.

Health and Wellbeing: the importance of emotional and mental health, promoting understanding and empathy towards feelings of fear and anxiety, as well as resilience in the face of adversity.

Social Studies: encourages critical thinking about intergenerational connections, climate change, and the impact individuals can have on society.

Literacy: provides opportunities for students to analyse and discuss themes and concepts.

This production is an Independent Arts Projects creation, with support from Creative Scotland, Imaginate, Playwrights Studio Scotland, Federation of Scottish Theatre, and the National Theatre of Scotland. These partnerships ensure that Shō and the Demons of the Deep meets the highest artistic standards and provides an engaging and educational experience for young audiences.


Written by Zoë Bullock, inspired by the picture book by Annouchka Gravel Galouchko

Directed by Shilpa T-Hyland

Designed by Claire Halleran

Shō’s city has been plagued by nightmares for as long as she can remember, but hers are the worst of all. One day, Shō has had enough. She throws her nightmares away into the river, where they wash out to sea. Soon people start copying her; the city is rid of its nightmares, and everyone is delighted. But sixty years later, when the river becomes poisoned, Shō’s granddaughter Hana must face her greatest fears in order to save her home.

Shō and the Demons of the Deep by Zoë Bullock is a visual adventure story about overcoming fear, climate crisis and how the actions of one generation can affect the next. Inspired by the picture book of the same name by Annouchka Gravel Galouchko.


Supported by Creative Scotland’s Touring Fund, &Federation of Scottish Theatre. Development supported by Imaginate and Playwrights Studio Scotland

 Scottish Opera Residency:

Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th and Friday 31st May 2024 – in your school.

Please contact marissa.bradshaw@scottishopera.org.uk for more information.

Access to the show is provided by the Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival and there will be no costs to the schools for attending.

Scottish Opera are back on the road next summer with Pop-up Opera 2024, visiting schools and community venues across Scotland.

Our 2024 tour includes a brand new musical show for P1-P4 children, with free primary school performances on offer in your area.

Created by opera singers Andrew McTaggart and Jessica Leary, with music by acclaimed composer Graham McCusker, this brand new, interactive piece will look at themes around positive mental health and wellbeing for children, giving practical tools to help kids when they are feeling worried, including breathing/calming exercises, and the message that a problem shared is a problem halved.

Performances can take place in your assembly hall in school for up to around 100 of your pupils, and running time is around 30 minutes.