New initiative to develop the provision of theatre for up to 15,000 children.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has welcomed a new initiative established to support and develop theatre for young people in Scotland's nurseries and schools.
Theatre in Schools Scotland, founded by Imaginate and National Theatre of Scotland, and backed by the Scottish Government, will tour 25 local authorities from 15 August to 14 October.
Up to 15,000 youngsters will enjoy up to four performances by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company and Visible Fictions. The ultimate aim is to ensure that every child in Scotland receives a minimum of one performing arts production per year by 2020.
Speaking at the launch, Ms Hyslop said:
"The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring young people have a chance to access the arts, whatever their background. We want every child to have a fair chance in life and we know that a good education is the foundation of achieving that.
"I recently outlined my ambition of establishing Scotland as an international leader in youth arts, and Time to Shine, Scotland's Youth Arts Strategy, is helping to enable Scotland's children and young people to flourish in and through the arts. It's an important step as we look towards 2018 and the Year of Young People.
"Performing and visual arts help young people's mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing. Curriculum for Excellence also acknowledges the value of the expressive arts, providing youngsters with opportunities to be creative and imaginative.
"We're working hard to enrich young people's lives through arts and creativity and Theatre in Schools Scotland acknowledges that. I congratulate Imaginate and National Theatre of Scotland for this innovative pilot and I'm confident the performances will be enjoyed by pupils and teachers alike."
Imaginate is supported by the Scottish Government and will receive £80,000 in EXPO funding during 2016/17. The National Theatre of Scotland is also supported by the Scottish Government.