Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Previewing Pre-View at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Playwriting students Francisca Da Silveira, Ahmad Musta'ain Khamis and Joanna Glum share their experiences of pre-viewing work at Traverse Theatre.

An annual highlight of the MSc in Playwriting at the University of Edinburgh is the chance to have your work professionally read at Traverse Theatre as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

In partnership with Playwrights' Studio, Scotland, these rehearsed 'Pre-view' readings by professional actors wrap up a year or more’s postgraduate study in which our student playwrights develop new writing for performance under the guidance of Programme Director and Scotland-based playwright, Nicola McCartney.

This year, 'Pre-View' will be taking place at Traverse Theatre over two consecutive Mondays (5th and 12th August) as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019. 

We caught up with three of the contributing masters students - Francisca Da Silveira, Ahmad Musta'ain Khamis and Joanna Glum - to hear about their experience so far. 

Video: Previewing Pre-View Video
Playwriting students Francisca Da Silveira, Ahmad Musta'ain Khamis and Joanna Glum share their experiences of pre-viewing work at Traverse Theatre.

A professional experience 

As Scotland’s new writing theatre, the Traverse is a dynamic centre for performance, experience and discovery, often referred to as Edinburgh’s ‘beating heart of the Fringe’. Francisca Da Silveira felt privileged to have her work 'Not for Profit' professionally read in this space.

"The Traverse is the new work theatre in Edinburgh, it is very exciting, as we are all new playwrights. It is a professional reading, during the Fringe Festival, that is something that is very real that you can put on your CV." 

Francisca continued, "Having a landscape of what is happening, not only witin Scottish theatre, but internationally has been really useful... I'm excited to be overwhelmed and scared!"

Working alongside people she truly respects 

As an American, Joanna Glum really admired the Fringe and promised that one day she would be a part of it. Although full of nerves, she feels prepared for her work 'Greek Play' to be performed. 

"Anxieties are popping around like a pinball in a pinball machine! We’ve had both enough practical experience with the workshops and the professional sessions...  working with Nicola McCartney, as a dramaturge, it feels as though we are prepared. She made a very difficult prospect much easier," said Joanna. "it’s going to be one of the biggest stages my work has ever been on so that’s very significant and that’s very important. To have my work presented alongside folks whom I respect and admire, and have watched work and grow as I have worked and grown this year, is very very lovely."

A warm sense of community

Pre-view allows our students to develop their own work with professional actors and directors, challenging their writing styles and thought-processes. Working alongside these professionals has been a major highlight for writer of 'The National Curriculum'Ahmad Musta'ain Khamis

"Coming from Singapore and being here for the first time in Scotland, I was warmly welcomed into the theatre circles of playwrights, actors and directors... They have been so nurturing, encouraging and sometimes challenging the way that I write and think about plays and issues close to heart." Ahmad continued, "...a warm sense of community that I’m supported, I am respected and I think they really nurture new writers and new writing here."

Are you interested in playwriting at Edinburgh?

Do you want to explore the theory and craft of writing for performance in a highly practical programme led by a professional playwright? Led by Nicola McCartney, our MSc in Playwriting is unique in the UK for its level of contact with the theatre industry. A core component of the degree is a series of workshops, facilitated by Playwrights' Studio Scotland, to develop your own work with professional actors and directors, culminating in a public, professional reading of your work-in-progress at the internationally renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 

Find out more about our MSc in Playwriting