Talking theatre: developing audiences for regional Australia

Scollen, Rebecca J. (2008) Talking theatre: developing audiences for regional Australia. The International Journal of the Arts in Society, 3 (3). pp. 103-114. ISSN 1833-1866


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[Abstract]: Theatre is commonly understood to be a reflection of, or comment on, or alternative to, the collective culture it is presented in. It is argued to be a place for examining the concepts of culture and to play a significant role in the presentation and development of cultures. Yet there are many people in Australia who do not recognise Theatre as an interface to their cultures.

The Talking Theatre research project (2004-2006) was an audience development initiative implemented in regional Queensland and in the Northern Territory in Australia. The project sought to assist performing arts centres to better engage with their local communities and to build new audiences for the future. In particular, the research aimed to understand non-theatregoers; their reasons for non-attendance, their perspectives about theatregoing culture, and their reactions to a range of live performances they experienced under study conditions.

The Talking Theatre project found that the cultures re-presented on stage were not that different to the cultures of the non-theatregoers. The participants in the research made clear that the theatrical performances and the social aspect of theatre attendance did reflect their cultures. Limited awareness of Theatre’s relevance to their lives combined with a lack of positive peer influence to attend, were the chief deterrents to theatre attendance for the non-theatregoers in the study.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Authors retain copyright. Readers must contact Common Ground for permission to reproduce. COMMON GROUND PUBLISHING PO Box 463, Altona, Victoria, 3018, Australia.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Arts - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Arts - No Department (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2009 00:16
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: culture, interface, non-theatregoers, theatre, symbolic interactionism, audience development, regional Australia, community
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1604 Human Geography > 160404 Urban and Regional Studies (excl. Planning)
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200203 Consumption and Everyday Life

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