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The cultural geographies of community theatre

Robinson, Yvonne Natalie; (2004) The cultural geographies of community theatre. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Against a backdrop of growing interest in performance geographies and performative notions of embodiment and social identity, this thesis critically examines the geographies of 'community theatre' (or 'theatre in the community'). Drawing on in-depth qualitative research, the study is concerned to analyse the forms of 'community' presumed in and produced through the performances of community theatre companies in London. It focuses in particular on detailed case studies of three companies - London Bubble, Outside Edge and Tamasha - which were chosen to examine how different engagements with the notion of 'community' are made through performance and practice. This thesis demonstrates how practices of community theatre have been positioned marginally to that of mainstream and established theatre. Through the empirical analysis, it examines both the opportunities and contradictions that an engagement with the discourse and practice of 'community' brings for community theatre companies. It also illustrates how 'theatre in the community' companies mobilise themselves in ways which may be both subversive, democratic and powerful. Engaging with forms of performative art that work with ideas of community and notions of communality articulated through performance, the thesis helps to rectify the absence of geographic research on the social spatial constitution of the arts. In so doing, it seeks to contribute to emergent understandings of the social and cultural geographies of performance.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The cultural geographies of community theatre
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Communication and the arts; Community theatre
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100893
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