Kate Nelson

"Listening In Landscapes”. Enhancing rural economies using site-specific, audio performance.

The fellowship will support the development of a project which Kate piloted in 2021 via a Scottish Government Innovate Voucher.

An app offering audio drama to audiences in rural landscapes will be created as an exciting and novel way for families to access theatre performance as an immersive and site responsive event. It will also increase visits to local businesses round the sites chosen for the plays, enhancing their potential income streams.

Working together, Kate and Neoneight Ltd (an independent Edinburgh based digital and AV productions company) will collaborate to create an app which offers an experience that visitors can download in the form of mini-podcasts called “Listening in Landscapes”. The product facilitates families to walk a route with specific, environmentally responsive stop points, where they listen to a short episode of an audio drama. Each episode creates a “what’s next” encouraging participants to continue the walk and engage with their environment. The content will be free to access, but only downloadable via an app which local businesses will supply links to on request. 

The audio drama will offer a full commission to a professional playwright and Kate will work on the devising and development of the play through a collaborative devising process. The inspiration for the play will come from aspects of the wider landscape, the specific location and local heritage at a site chosen in partnership with East Lothian Tourism officers, the local council in the area, and local school and community groups.

The inspiration for the project will, in part, come from drawing on existing visual and community arts within the area, coupled with work carried out in local schools and community groups, sourcing stories and characters as a well-spring for the script.