Digital Hub

ISTA Festival gives global experience to T20/40 students

Transitions 20/40: News

29 April 2016

Earlier this month, several Transitions 20/40 students grasped the chance to take part in the International Schools’ Theatre Association’s spring festival, held at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Students from all over the world came together at Renfrew Street, to collaborate and create work based around using performance as a tool to enact change. To inspire, participants travelled to Edinburgh and were treated to a tour of the Scottish Parliament building.

T20/40 students from drama and production routes took part in the three-day event and ISTA Project Coordinator Hector Brown was full of glowing praise for them, commenting “The T20/40 guys were great – properly getting into the vibe of it!” This was an occasion for learners from all backgrounds to come together as a team and although both are at different stages in their T20/40 pathway, Hannah (year 3) and Eilidh (year 1) both threw themselves into the festival action and had lots to say on their experience:

Eilidh: “I cannot express how grateful I am that I got to take part in the ISTA festival as it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I learned so much in terms of movement as I had Mhari (MacInnes) as a leader, also devising theatre around young people’s choices was really special and it was so interesting to hear young people’s opinions from around the world. This also made me think about how important it is to voice our opinions to make a change.”

Hannah: “I couldn’t do it without all of your help! I thoroughly enjoyed ISTA and felt that it allowed me to learn to work with many different people who have very different ideas about theatre and performance. I also was able to learn more about my own rights to vote and the parliament system here in Scotland which was very interesting. It was exciting to be able to try and put on a performance in such a short period of time and have gained lots of new friends and knowledge about their lives from around the world.”

The event capped off a great week for Hannah, who after three-years of fully funded learning experiences like ISTA, has secured a place of undergraduate study on the Actor Musician degree at Mountview, in north London.

Also in his first year with T20/40, Steven joined a small group of like-minded students to work on the Production side of the festival, guided by Student Ensemble Leader, Chris Salisbury:

Steven: “The thing that stood out to me the most was the way in which we were taught about production roles. At ISTA there was a kind of human dimension added by Chris and the undergrad students. It’s helped my ability to socialize and now I feel I can fit in to any theatre company now, very useful considering the work I’ve done this week and what I have next week. My favourite part of the festival was helping/being around for the set-up to the festival. In this time I had some interesting conversations with the undergraduate students. Stewart showed me videos of Fly operation, a role that I had never been really aware of and now a role I want to try. After talking to Babette about stage-management it’s now a career I want to pursue and because of this I’ve got a position as ASM on The Pillow Man at ACT Aberdeen. It’s definitely something I would do again.”

The Transitions team couldn’t be prouder of the students who took part and collaborated in such an exemplary way.

Scroll below to see Eilidh, Hannah and other T20/40 students at the festival and if you’d like to know more about ISTA and the worldwide opportunities they provide, please visit them at

istaa istab istac istaeista17 ista16 ista19 ista12

ista24 ista26