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December 2021 - The Year in Review

This month's blog has been written by our Chief Executive, Emma Ruse.

And so, we come to the end of another year! This year has been a big one for Framework, as our first year as a registered company among many other things. I thought it was only fair that this blog is a wrap up of our projects and a look forward to 2022! After today, our team will be off until January 10th, we hope you have a lovely restful holiday! We know the theatre industry is, once again, being put through its paces and we extend our support to anyone cancelling shows, having work cancelled or just struggling.

The review:

We started the year strong, with the culmination of 2020 in 20 on January 1st (a 20-part digital series of 1-minute sketches). The series received over 4000 views and raised money for The Anti-Racist Educator, as well as future Framework Projects.

In February, as well as submitting an Open Fund application, we produced The ‘Why Isn’t This Over Yet?’ fundraising Scratch Night – featuring 12 amazing emerging performers and writers alongside the Framework team.

March began, and we released a call-out for shows to feature at a mysterious festival. The response was phenomenal, and we selected 6 shows out of 28 amazing applications! We also started working with Louise Gregory from Illumination Theatre Services on a new show surrounding witches, as part of her amazing Navigate programme.

In April, work began in earnest. We received a grant from Queen Margaret University to support our festival and curated a programme of workshops, panels and productions all designed to be delivered to remote audiences. This month we also received the result of that Open Fund application…

May brought Scotland’s first emerging theatre maker’s festival to the forefront, with over 400 tickets booked across the programme. Alongside the festival, we launched a survey designed to understand the wants and needs of Scotland’s emerging theatre makers AND at the end of the month, Jennifer Galt joined our team as an associate producer.

In June we issued a callout to modern-day witches for the play we were developing with Louise Gregory, a casting call for a mysterious audio drama, and a callout for interested participants to be interviewed for a verbatim piece on Burnout, written by Ellen Wilson. We also launched our first Open Fund funded project, Home: A Project for New Writers produced in association with Vanishing Point, seeking 4 young writers from the Lothians to write a short play.

During July, we supported two zoom rehearsed readings; Play Pretend by Katie Fraser and Kneecaps by Moot Point Collective. We also selected and introduced our four Home writers: Hannah Low, Jade Aimers, Joe Hunter and Vivian Cheng. At the end of the month, we launched our ground-breaking Building a Framework Report showcasing the research survey that had been sent out in May, filled in by over 100 emerging theatre-makers.

August was a tad quieter, with our playwrights working away on their scripts and our murder-mystery audio adventure “Kill Your Darlings” running digitally. This month we also made Jennifer Galt a permanent member of the Framework Team.

September turned things up a notch, with finished scripts meaning the work for Home: A Project for New Writers sprang into action. After an in-depth planning meeting we hired Megan Adair, our wonderful production manager, and began casting for our rep-style show. We also hired a social media co-ordinator to support our core team, Morna Ross, who was selected from 64 applications.

In October, alongside a website redesign and some snazzy new emails, we focused on pulling everything into place for show week the next month. After sorting through a heap of Spotlight applications and over 50 self-tapes, we found our amazing cast! At the end of this month we also announced that Emma Cochrane, one of our founding members, would be stepping down at the end of the year.

November was the biggest month yet, our first in-person show since 2018! Home: A Project for New Writers was a massive success, with a sold-out evening show. We couldn’t be prouder of everyone who took part and pulled the whole thing together. This month we also put out a note of interest for board members, as we seek charitable status in the new year. (If you’re interested, please email!).

And finally, December. Primarily, the focus this month was on the Scottish Emerging Theatre Awards. The first award show of this kind, this was designed to support and celebrate emerging artists across Scotland making work – especially in these difficult times. With over 200 individual nominations, deciding who would receive each award was extremely difficult for our panel – but ridiculously inspiring!

All I can say, on behalf of the team here at Framework, is thank you so much for supporting us as we try and make work and build a stronger theatre community in Scotland.

If this has been 2021, we cannot wait to see what 2022 has to offer! Perhaps a repeat of some of this year’s events? Perhaps something entirely new? Make sure you’re following us online to find out, and for all of you that have read this far – please have a lovely restful Christmas and stay safe. Theatre, as always, will come back stronger.

Emma R + The Framework Team


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