Valuing Amateur Theatre

  • Jane Milling
  • Nadine Holdsworth
  • Helen Nicholson


This chapter analyses the shifting cultural value of amateur theatre over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Amateur theatre is a mode of cultural production that operates outside the late-twentieth century rise of the creative and cultural industries and independently from the criteria set for public subsidy. The chapter explores the appearance of the amateur theatre movement at the beginning of the twentieth century and examines the fundamental role that amateur theatre played over the century in the evolution of English regional theatres, adult drama education, the establishment of the National Theatre and the case for public subsidy for theatre. The chapter concludes by considering the role that the contemporary amateur theatre organisations are being asked to play in today’s cultural ecology.


Cultural value Subsidy Amateur theatre movement Regional theatre 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Milling
    • 1
  • Nadine Holdsworth
    • 2
  • Helen Nicholson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of DramaUniversity of ExeterExeterUK
  2. 2.School of Theatre and Performance StudiesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK
  3. 3.Department of Drama, Theatre and DanceRoyal Holloway, University of LondonEghamUK

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