Scotland’s First Care Experienced Theatre Ensemble Go Pro

  • Citizens TheatreGMAC Film and Arts in the City (Glasgow City HSCP) develop new project for care experienced theatre group, WAC Ensemble.
  • Participants will create ten new pieces, 5 theatre and 5 film, whilst supported by industry professionals
  • Project aims to support professional development within the arts and provide young artists with lifelong creative skills

Citizens Theatre, GMAC Film, and Arts in the City have teamed up to develop an exciting new project, WAC PRO, for the care-experienced theatre group, WAC Ensemble. The project, funded by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, will support the participants to create ten new pieces - five in theatre and five in film - while receiving invaluable mentorship from industry professionals.

The innovative project is set to empower and showcase the talents of care experienced young artists. Members will receive full support to bring their ideas to life including a series of masterclasses, one to one guidance, a daily freelance rate and budget. The project will culminate with an event hosted by the Ensemble that showcases the plays and the films – and creates space for discussion around avenues into the industry for care experienced young people across the city.

“Creative projects like WAC PRO are vital for care-experienced young people, not only to unlock their artistic potential but in inspiring young people to take up space and share their ideas with the world. With a strong emphasis on professional development and individual mentorship, WAC PRO paves the way for care-experienced young artists to embark on, or further, their careers in the arts, while proving that their potential has no limits”, Catrin Evans, Head of Creative Learning, Citizens Theatre.

David Williams, Creative Director of GMAC Film added "We are delighted to be working with our partners to deliver this exciting project which nurtures and showcases cross- discipline talent; putting young care experienced creatives at its heart".

Since its formation in 2019, initially for 18-26-year-olds, WAC Ensemble has provided unique and exciting training and performance opportunities. It has evolved to continue supporting members who have aged out of the original parameters of the project, with a firm commitment to continuous professional development for those who chose to continue to engage.

Members of the Ensemble have been on a powerful upward trajectory since forming at the Citizens Theatre with awards for their work including the 'Writers' Guild Best Play for Young Audiences Award 2022' for the play Whatever Happened to the Jaggy Nettles and the 'Marginalised UK - Women and Girls’ and ‘Best Actor’ awards at the 2022 Big Syn Film Festfor their short film Found. WAC PRO is the next step in members creative and professional development.

“I have never been part of a group like this before. In fact, during the 10 years I spent growing up in foster care, I never took part in any group that included other care experienced people. I always had the fear that the fact I grew up in care would somehow restrict me, that I would be put into a box and people would expect a certain kind of behaviour from me. A kid that grew up in care, and nothing more.” Ensemble Member.

WAC aspires to challenge prejudice against individuals with care experience, breaking down stereotypes and biases that can limit opportunities. The project's success will serve as a model for other young people with similar backgrounds, showing them that they too can pursue careers in the arts with the right support and opportunities.

“Creativity is one of the most reflective, affirming and boundless capacities we possess as human beings. All of us have creativity within us, however there are often barriers that we face when exploring that part of ourselves – particularly if we are embarking on a career in the creative industries; and, for individuals with care experience, they can be faced additional challenges. WAC Pro has been designed to alleviate some of these barriers through the package of support provided. For the Ensemble members, who each have lived experience of care, the project provides a paid opportunity to dedicate time to their creative ideas. Having watched the incredible performances from WAC Beginnings, I can only imagine the absolute delights in store at the final WAC Pro event in June 2024”, Deni Smith, Arts and Culture Development Worker, Arts in the City.

Youth Engagement Manager at Creative Scotland, Sarah Mcadam said: “Diversity of experience is critical to ensuring that the stories which are told on stage and screen resonate with audiences from all parts of society. WAC Ensemble have built a strong track record as a community of creative theatre practitioners and this exciting new initiative, extending their reach into film, will empower even more young people to build their personal and professional networks. WAC PRO recognises the value of young people’s time, voice and creativity in paid professional roles which will secure Scotland’s continued success in the creative and film sectors for years to come.”

WAC PRO will assist the individual participants to further develop their own unique personal artistic practice and continue in their chosen professional path.


Image credit: WAC Ensemble members during a production. Image by Alex Brady.

WAC Members

  • Allan Othieno
  • Caitlin Muir
  • Chloe Wyper
  • Genna Allan
  • Hunter Christian Jessen
  • Keiran McKenzie
  • Louise Scott
  • Natalie Chiappa
  • Ross MacGregor
  • Shannon Lynch

Citizens Theatre

The Citizens Theatre is Glasgow’s major producing theatre and one of the leading theatre companies in the UK. It is internationally renowned for ground-breaking theatre productions and a pioneering programme of participatory and community work. It is led by Artistic Director, Dominic Hill who is regarded as having “a talent for classical drama which is genuinely world class.” (Daily Telegraph) and Executive Director, Alex McGowan. The theatre presents bold new interpretations of classic texts alongside new writing. It is firmly rooted in the Gorbals community at the heart of Glasgow’s cultural and creative offering, while maintaining a national and international outlook.

The company’s beautiful Victorian home in the Gorbals is currently closed while it undergoes a major redevelopment. The building is anticipated to re-open in 2024. This is the first comprehensive, integrated redevelopment of the building since it opened in 1878. The project will transform the experiences of audiences, participants and performers and secure the future of one of Scotland’s most iconic buildings and producing theatres. More information:


GMAC Film is an open access media centre that delivers a creative and artistic programme for all people, regardless of age, background or income to acquire the skills, knowledge, resources and confidence to realise their ambitions in film and elsewhere in the creative sector. Our growing roster of programmes span film education and training, micro-budget commissioning schemes, open access screening events, outreach work and office hire. GMAC Film seeks to empower people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in projects free at the point of delivery so that low income is never a barrier to taking part, giving confidence, knowledge and ambition to those who become involved, allowing each voice to be heard. Visit or follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Arts In The City

Established in 2002, Arts in the City (AitC) is an award-nominated Glasgow City Council Social Work Services project which exists to help improve the lives and life chances of care experienced children and young people in Glasgow through engagement and involvement in the arts. AitC supports young people to develop their social networks, skills and confidence through participation in community- based arts activities and through a distinct programme of activity designed and delivered for care experienced young people. AitC signposts children and young people and supporting staff to appropriate community arts provision and brokers and develops creative interventions with well- established internal and external agencies who serve this client group.

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at