The Traverse Theatre is Scotland's new writing theatre. From its conception in 1963, it has embraced a spirit of innovation and risk-taking that launched the careers of many of Scotland's best-known writers including John Byrne, David Greig, David Harrower and Liz Lochhead.
It is unique in Scotland in that it fulfils the crucial role of providing the infrastructure, professional support and expertise to ensure the development of a dynamic theatre culture for Scotland. It commissions and develops new plays or adaptations from contemporary playwrights. It produces, on average, six Traverse Theatre Company productions or co-productions per year. It also presents a large number of productions from visiting companies from across the UK. These include new plays, adaptations, dance, physical theatre, puppetry and contemporary music.
The Traverse is an international reputation for producing and presenting the very best new drama, and this is particularly the case during the Edinburgh Festivals in August. The Traverse Festival 2010 programme overall took 17 awards. It is also the home of the Manipulate Visual Theatre Festival, the Bank of Scotland Imaginate Festival and the Traverse's own Autumn Festival.
The Traverse's work with young people is of major importance and takes the form of encouraging playwriting through its flagship education project Class Act, as well as the Young Writers' Group. Class Act recently celebrated its 21st year. Over the years the programme has given school pupils the opportunity to develop their plays with professional playwrights and work with directors and actors to see the finished piece performed on stage at the Traverse.