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Amateur Repertoires

  • Jane Milling
  • Nadine Holdsworth
  • Helen Nicholson
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter argues that amateur theatre plays a vital role in sustaining a national theatrical repertoire. Tracing the way that amateur theatre has championed new writing and playwrights through the twentieth century, the chapter looks at how the thousands of amateur productions currently staged each year support professional playwrights, publishers and performance rights holders. The success of Tim Firth’s Calendar Girls illustrates some of the ways in which amateur theatre can extend the life of a play temporally and geographically. The chapter argues that as curators of local and accessible seasons of work, amateur theatre groups are both local taste-makers and, through their choices about what to keep in production, they also contribute to the making of national dramatic canons. More than building the habit of theatre-going in local audiences, amateur theatre groups build their audiences’ dramatic expertise. The chapter concludes by examining some of the distinctive qualities of the new play writing within the amateur sector.

Keywords

Repertoire Playwright Taste Canon Audience New writing 

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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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