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© 2018

The Ecologies of Amateur Theatre

Benefits

  • Explores the contribution that amateur dramatic companies make to the experience and representation of community life

  • Offers a detailed account of the processes of making amateur theatre, locating contemporary practice in an historical context

  • Captures a new era of amateur creativity and the twenty-first century amateur turn

Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Helen Nicholson, Nadine Holdsworth, Jane Milling
    Pages 1-22
  3. Jane Milling, Nadine Holdsworth, Helen Nicholson
    Pages 23-65
  4. Jane Milling, Nadine Holdsworth, Helen Nicholson
    Pages 67-107
  5. Helen Nicholson, Nadine Holdsworth, Jane Milling
    Pages 109-155
  6. Helen Nicholson, Nadine Holdsworth, Jane Milling
    Pages 157-189
  7. Nadine Holdsworth, Jane Milling, Helen Nicholson
    Pages 191-235
  8. Nadine Holdsworth, Jane Milling, Helen Nicholson
    Pages 237-277
  9. Helen Nicholson, Nadine Holdsworth, Jane Milling
    Pages 279-306
  10. Helen Nicholson, Nadine Holdsworth, Jane Milling
    Pages C1-C1
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 307-343

About this book

Introduction

This book is the first major study of amateur theatre, offering new perspectives on its place in the cultural and social life of communities. Historically informed, it traces how amateur theatre has impacted national repertoires, contributed to diverse creative economies, and responded to changing patterns of labour. Based on extensive archival and ethnographic research, it traces the importance of amateur theatre to crafting places and the ways in which it sustains the creativity of amateur theatre over a lifetime. It asks: how does amateur theatre-making contribute to the twenty-first century amateur turn?

Keywords

Amateur theatre Community theatre Creative economies Archival research Ethnographic research Applied drama Education and performance Performance and participation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Drama, Theatre and DanceRoyal Holloway, University of LondonEghamUK
  2. 2.School of Theatre and Performance StudiesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  3. 3.Department of DramaUniversity of ExeterExeterUK

About the authors

Helen Nicholson is Professor of Theatre and Performance at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. Her books include Applied Drama: The Gift of Theatre (2005/2014), Theatre, Education and Performance (2011), and co-edited collections Performance and Participation (2017) and Critical Perspectives on Applied Theatre (2016). With Nadine Holdsworth and Jane Milling as Co-Investigators, she was Principal Investigator on two research projects on amateur theatre, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 

Nadine Holdsworth is Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. She has written Joan Littlewood’s Theatre (2011), Theatre & Nation (2010) and Joan Littlewood (2006), edited Theatre and National Identity (2014), and co-edited a special issue of Contemporary Theatre Review on amateur theatre (2017). 

Jane Milling is Associate Professor of Drama at the University of Exeter, UK. She has co-authored Devising Performance (2005/2015), Modern British Playwrighting: the 1980s (2012), and co-edited The Cambridge History of British Theatre: Volume 1 (2004) and Extraordinary Actors (2004).

Bibliographic information

Reviews

“This study is a hugely satisfying read, both critical and timely … . The book is both theoretically rich and immensely readable, and it will, I am sure, be a spur to many to take up its challenge; to not only pay more attention to the histories and present practices of amateur theatre, but to begin to look critically at the value hierarchies that dominate the theatre studies discipline more widely as a consequence.” (Liz Tomlin, Journal of Contemporary Drama in English, Vol. 8 (2), 2020)