Fri 24 Mar 2023: 9:30AM
Youth Theatre Arts Scotland

National Convention of Youth Drama 2023

Venue: Festival Theatre, Nicholson Street, Edinburgh
Prices: Free to YTAS Members; non-members £30

In partnership with our host venue Capital Theatres, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland (YTAS) is proud to present the National Convention of Youth Drama 2023, affectionately known as #DramaCon2023, taking place at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh on Friday 24 March 2023.

The Convention welcomes everyone who uses drama and theatre in their work with young people and promises an inspiring day of discussions, presentations, and networking opportunities. 

Our keynote will come from Dr Livia Tomova, a research fellow at the Blakemore Lab, based at the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge and the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience in London. The Lab focuses on the development of social cognition, peer influence and decision making in the adolescent brain, and adolescent mental health, and Livia’s research investigates how stress, loneliness and social isolation affect the brain and mind, especially during adolescence. The keynote will bring together Livia’s scientific research with the youth theatre sector’s ambitions to tackle social isolation through creative engagement, specifically in a post-Covid world.

As our first Convention since the pandemic, the focus of the event will be on rebuilding, regrouping, and sharing a collective plan for the future of our sector. Throughout the day you’ll have a chance to shout about your work, engage in discussion groups on topics of your choice, and of course, catch up with old friends (and meet new ones) over tea, coffee and lunch!

The Day at a Glance…   

9.30am Registration Refreshments available to get you fueled up for the day ahead.
10.30am Welcome …and those all-important YTAS Updates!
11amKeynoteAdolescent Brains and Tackling Social Isolation
Bringing together Dr Livia Tomova’s scientific research with the youth theatre sector’s ambitions to tackle social isolation through creative engagement in a post-Covid world.
11.45amShout OutsA chance to shout from the rooftops – or at least from a stage! YTAS invites attendees of to share their current projects, aims, wish for a project partner… anything! The catch is, you have a maximum of three minutes. The clock is ticking. If you want to celebrate, connect and seek support from the wider community, let us know on your booking form. If you’re not sure how this works, you can take a peek at an example of a previous Shout Out session here.
1pmLunchRefueling for a productive afternoon.
2pmDiscussion GroupsA chance for discussion with practitioners from across the sector.
3pmDiscussion GroupsA chance to discuss another topic with more practitioners from across the sector.
4.10pmWrap Up and ThanksReflections on the day we’ve shared together.
4.30pmEnd of #DramaCon2023Not ready for it to be over? We’ve got you covered. Read on for more information about our evening plans…


There are two ticket types: YTAS Members* or Non-Members. Tickets include access to the full day of events at the Festival Theatre, as well as lunch and refreshment breaks. Bookings close Wednesday 22 March, 12pm

YTAS members FREE (but non-attendance incurs a £30 fee); Non-members £30 

* Membership of YTAS is open to all.  Join now and benefit from the reduced members’ rate on all tickets.  

You can pay in full online at the time of booking, or request an invoice and pay in full via cheque or bank transfer within 30 days of receipt. For general enquiries or if you have specific access requirements, please contact or call 0131 538 0591 to discuss how we can best support these. There is also a space to mark this on your Eventbrite booking. 

If you book and are unable to attend for any reason please let us know in advance by emailing

Expenses Support

Travel is expensive… Childcare is expensive… As costs for attending in-person activity continue to rise, YTAS are committed to ensuring no one misses out. Support is available to any YTAS Member, who would be unable to attend #DramaCon2023 without it – it’s as simple as that! If you would like to access this support fund, read more here. No eligibility checks required. 

Emergence 2023

While you’re in Edinburgh, why not make a night of it and join us for some scratch performances at the Traverse Theatre? Friday 24 March also marks the culmination of our Directors’ Development Programme, and we have eight directors keen to share their work with you as part of Emergence.  

Over the eight-month Directors’ Development Programme, our directors have shared practice, worked one-to-one with NTS dramaturg Rosie Kellagher, and been given the space and resource to develop new ideas with young performers.  

Attendees of the National Convention of Youth Drama who also attend Emergence will be given a free drink at the Traverse Theatre and a show ticket for only £5. You’ll need to book this separately with the Traverse box office, but we’ll give you a code with your #DramaCon2023 confirmation email. 

5.30pm Drinks Reception at Traverse Theatre (10 Cambridge St, Edinburgh EH1 2ED) 

6.30pm Emergence 2023 


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