The best young theatre-makers with ambitious performances and radical works-in-progress
17-19 November 2017
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

The Chrysalis festival is a platform for ambitious performance by young theatre-makers. It showcases emerging talent, sparks critical debate and challenges perceptions of youth theatre.

“Marvel how youth theatre has changed and see how the future looks through their eyes” (The Guardian on Chrysalis)

Chrysalis was staged at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, and was curated with the support of a consortium of industry specialists. The festival is the only platform of its kind in Scotland and offers a new experience for audiences new to youth theatre arts.

“Nothing but warmth, enthusiasm, and a glow of creative energy” (The Scotsman)

The festival aims to:

  • Positively enhance the public perception of creative work by young people
  • Attract new audiences to youth theatre arts
  • Inspire and raise the aspirations of Scotland’s youth arts sector
  • Stimulate critical discussion

“Combining the vitality of innovative youth performance with the polished production of the professional theatre’’ (The List)

Chrysalis 2017 was supported by Creative Scotland, the Turtleton Charitable Trust, the Saltire Society and Edinburgh Napier University in association with Macmillan Cancer Support.

2107 Performances


Contact Chrysalis 2017 Traverse Website

Contact Young Company

BRIGHTLIGHT was the first major study of its kind on specialist cancer care in England for young people. Its findings and young patients’ perspectives combine to inspire this original performance. This production was supported by Edinburgh Napier University in association with Macmillan Cancer Support.

Gloriously real and lifeaffirming; a masterful testimony to the power of young people’s voices.
Manchester Theatre Awards

Strong language; adult themes; mild references to sex. 12+.

Fri 17 November 2017 – 7:00PM
Sat 18 November 2017 – 2:00PM
Sun 19 November 2017 – 7:30PM


Beacon Chrysalis 2017 Traverse Website

Beacon Young Company

Why save the world when someone else can sort it out? The magic of childhood is mixed with grown-up responsibility in this fast-paced and physical cautionary tale.

A strong ensemble performance that demonstrates a real skill in storytelling in a production which packs a pretty punch.

All ages
Fri 17 November 2017 – 8:15PM
Sun 19 November 2017 – 6:00PM


Firefly Chrysalis 2017 Traverse Website

Firefly Arts
West Lothian

If humans are the main drivers of change, who or what is driving us Poignant and funny, sinister and dirty, this bold and visceral performance promises to entertain and arrest.

A challenging and thought-provoking new work by one of Scotland’s most established young companies.

Contains strong language. 14+
Sat 18 November 2017 – 7:00PM
Sun 19 November 2017 – 3:30PM


Reading Chrysalis 2017 Traverse Website

Reading Rep

Sweets, Skinny and Baby live in their own dystopian versions of reality: addiction, violence, chemsex and self destructive behaviour. The arrival of a parcel has fatal consequences for the misfit trio.

A gritty and genuinely youth-led production which uses the full gamut of theatrical possibilities.

Very strong language throughout; scenes of a sexual nature; depictions of violence; strobe/flashing lights. 14+
Sat 18 November 2017 – 8:15PM
Sun 19 November 2017 – 2:00PM


Emergence Chrysalis 2017 Traverse Website

Experience three 20 minute experimental scratch performances by emerging young theatre-makers, including one by our Saltire-Award-winning ‘Emerging Director’. Contribute your own thoughts and ideas on how each piece could develop.
Sat 18 November 2017 – 3:30PM

Workshops, Talks & Events

Workshops - Sat 19 November 2016 - Chrysalis, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh (photographer Andy Catlin) -6642
Running alongside the main Chrysalis programme, a series of curated opportunities explored themes, creative approaches, and politics in terms of the work, its creation and the wider world.


Chrysalis Twitter Plays

Twitter Plays Image
We invited writers of all ages and experiences to create Twitter Plays – 140 characters of immediate, responsive work – inspired by the world around them for Chrysalis 2017. These were showcased online and displayed at the Traverse Theatre during Chrysalis, plus a selection were performed live at the launch of the festival of Fri 17 November 2017.

Chrysalis Festival

Friday 17 November

11:00-2:00pm Managers Forum
11:00-2:00pm Young Critics Workshop
3:00-5.00pm Workshop: Writing for Youth Theatre
6:30pm Festival Opening
7:00pm There is a Light: Brightlight – Contact Young Company, Manchester
8:15pm How to Save the World…ish – Beacon Young Company, Inverclyde

Saturday 18 November

2:00pm There is a Light: Brightlight – Contact Young Company, Manchester
Post-show Discussion – There is a Light: Brightlight
3:30pm Emergence featuring Citizens Young Company (Glasgow), Performance Collective (Stranraer) and the Lyceum Youth Theatre (Edinburgh)
7:00pm Dark Mechanics – Firefly Arts, West Lothian
8:15pm Queer Fish – Reading Rep

Sunday 19 November

11am-12.45pm Workshop – The Contact Approach
2:00pm Queer Fish – Reading Rep
Post-show Discussion: Queer Fish
3:30pm Dark Mechanics – Firefly Arts, West Lothian
6:00pm How to Save the World…ish – Beacon Young Company, Inverclyde
7:30pm There is a Light: Brightlight – Contact Young Company, Manchester
9:00pm Festival Wrap Party