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Funds for new acts

The Scottish Arts Council is funding a modern day Anne Frank drama, an urban opera with a hip-hop score and a puppet show to open children's eyes to history and different cultures.

Communicado Productions has received pound;61,000 to put on Zlata's Diary, a true account of a 12-year-old girl's experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. It will tour to 11- to14-year-olds in Glasgow, Stirling, Dundee, Edinburgh and North Lanarkshire but dates are still to be confirmed.

The award-winning Grid Iron team has received pound;65,000 to put on an urban opera featuring skateboarding and break-dancing and offer workshops.

Fierce will tour to East Lothian, Stirling, Dundee and Aberdeen in May and June. (For information, tel 0131 558 1879; Shona Reppe, who is currently busy touring her puppet show Spend a Penny for four to nine-years-olds across Scotland, has received pound;36,700 for her next production, Tee-Hee for Two. It is based on the traditional children's story "The Magic Porridge Pot" and will feature animated characters with inflatable bellies and a bagpipe soundtrack. The production, for three- to six-year-olds will tour to Inverness, the Scottish Borders, North Ayrshire and West Lothian. (For details, contact Shona Reppe, tel 07957 154615.)

David Taylor, head of drama at the Scottish Arts Council, says: "Some of Scotland's most creative theatrical talents are working on new drama for children and young people. Exciting, entertaining and thought-provoking productions are essential to bring young people into theatres for the first time and to bring them back again and again as audiences."

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