Lightbulb Sessions

Lightbulb Sessions

A series of workshops exploring what data driven theatre and performing arts is and could be.


Beginning August 2024, continuing monthly until July 2025


Remote and in-person at CodeBase, 37a Castle Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2EL

In 1879 Thomas Alva Edison created the first commercially practical incandescent light. A lightbulb. In 1881 the Savoy Theatre in London replaced limelight and footlights with the first complete electric theatre. Lightbulbs quickly became the dominant theatre technology in the 20th Century. This had a profound impact on the form, style, even reasons for making theatre. Actors acted differently. Writers wrote differently. The world was looked at and understood differently because of the humble lightbulb.


Data-driven technology has revolutionised our everyday lives at least as much as the lightbulb. So how is it going to change theatre and live performance? Come to the Lightbulb Sessions and imagine what data driven theatre and live performance could and should be. 


The sessions will be led by hacker, inventor and tech journalist Rupert Goodwins with playwright and Artistic Director of Civic Digits, Clare Duffy.


The Lightbulb Sessions are monthly workshops looking at a different aspects of data driven theatre: From exploring what data driven tech is and how you could/should use it, to IP and contracts, from finding and commissioning technologists, to designing inclusivity and accessibility into new tech, to thinking about security and ecologically responsible tech.


Each month there will be a different topic, an expert speaker and exercises supporting you to develop your new ideas for new tech. At the end of the 12 months there will be two grants of £2000 available to apply for to get a new idea started, which Civic Digits and its partners will mentor and support. 


In Summary:


A new workshop series intended to foster collaborative innovation and creative expression within the Scottish data driven theatre and performing arts community. The programme will offer:


– An expert speaker each month.
– The option to take part part both online and at Codebase, Edinburgh
– The chance to apply for micro grants to start making your own technology for theatre/live performance.
– A new data driven theatre online hub.
– Excellent snacks.


Last Wednesday of the month, 3:30pm-5:30pm, August 2024 – July 2025. Post-session socials, 6pm-8pm.



10 places available for theatre makers in Scotland and 10 places for creative technologists.



Salaried individuals £240 (12 sessions). Up to 10 spaces available at no cost to freelancers.


Apply for entry to the Lightbulb Sessions by emailing


If you would like to take part, please send an expression of interest, (of approximately 200 words) to Civic Digits explaining why you would like to take part, as well as if you are requesting a subsidy, by 5 July.