The National Theatre of Scotland was established in 2006 and has created over 200 productions. Being a theatre without walls, the Company presents a wide variety of work that ranges from large-scale productions to projects tailored to the smallest performing spaces. In addition to conventional theatres, the Company has performed in airports, schools, tower blocks, community halls, ferries and forests.

The Company has toured extensively across Scotland, the rest of the UK and worldwide. Notable productions include Black Watch by Gregory Burke which won four Laurence Olivier Awards amongst a multitude of awards, the award-winning landmark historical trilogy The James Plays by Rona Munro, a radical reimagining of Macbeth starring Alan Cumming, presented in Glasgow and at the Lincoln Center Festival and subsequently, Broadway, New York and Let The Right One In, adapted by Jack Thorne from John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel and screenplay, which won the 2014 South Bank Sky Arts Award for theatre.

The National Theatre of Scotland creates much of its work in partnership with theatre-makers, companies, venues and participants across the globe. From extraordinary projects with schools and communities, to the ground-breaking online 5 Minute Theatre to immersive pieces such as David Greig’s The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, the National Theatre of Scotland’s aspiration is to tell the stories that need to be told and to take work to wherever audiences are to be found.

The National Theatre of Scotland wants to provide much-needed paid opportunities for artists during these challenging times. We fully appreciate that the challenges facing artists are not just financial, and so this call-out is for those who feel they currently have the capacity to be creative.

This opportunity is also about celebrating our exceptional national culture whilst raising money for our freelance community who are experiencing drastic economic and emotional hardship.

Scenes for Survival is a new season of digital short artworks, created in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project and Scotland’s leading theatre venues and companies, with support from Hopscotch Films.

Scenes for Survival will be formed of short extracts from existing classic Scottish plays, and newly commissioned monologues up to 5 minutes in length, performed by actors in isolation with remote support from a director.

We are looking for submissions from professional theatre directors who are Scottish, or based in Scotland, to direct these short scenes.

To apply, directors will need to submit a short biog/CV and include any links to online examples of their directing work where available by 5PM on 8 June 2020. 

All submissions will be considered by the National Theatre of Scotland’s artistic team, who will match directors with a scene and actors, many of whom will also be selected via an open call process.

Scenes for Survival  is created in association with BBC Scotland, Screen Scotland, BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine project with support from Hopscotch Films and Scotland’s leading theatre venues and companies  including Aberdeen Performing Arts, Birds of Paradise, the Beacon Arts Centre, the Byre Theatre, Citizens Theatre, Dundee Rep Theatre, Eden Court Highlands, Imaginate, Macrobert Arts Centre, Perth Theatre, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, Summerhall,  Stellar Quines, Theatre Gu Leor, the Tron Theatre and the Traverse Theatre.

Please read the following guidelines before submitting your play:

  • We will only read scripts by writers who are based in Scotland, unless that script has been previously professionally produced. Unfortunately, we cannot make exceptions regardless of content.
  • Scripts can be submitted in English, Scots or Scottish Gaelic. If submitting a Gaelic script, we would be grateful if you could fill in the submission form in English and tick the relevant box to indicate that your play is written in Gaelic, so that we can process your script more swiftly.
  • We are only able to accept plays written for the stage.  We are also unable to accept extracts or incomplete drafts of plays.
  • After submitting your play, you will be redirected to Survey Monkey to answer some questions which will help us monitor who is engaging with us in order that we can ensure we are connecting with as diverse a range of writers as possible.  Please note that this information is separate from your submission and will NOT be available to the person reading your script.  
  • We can accept a maximum of two scripts from any writer in one calendar year.  Once we have accepted and are reading your script, please do not submit any further scripts until you have received our response.
  • You may submit any script once only. We cannot accept a script we have already read, regardless of redevelopment or changes. 
  • Scripts should be clearly formatted. 
  • All plays sent to us are automatically acknowledged but if you have any queries regarding your submission, please contact us at
National Theatre of Scotland