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Title: In-between zones : the impact of class and ethnicity on engagement with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre's youth theatre (The Young REP)
Author: Hart, Natalie
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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The aim of this collaborative doctoral research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), is to explore the interrelationships of internationalism and multiculturalism and how they impact upon the aesthetic and ethical practices of the youth theatre groups (The Young REP) fostered by The Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Examining spatial dynamics, this research explores the hypothesis that there are ‘inbetween zones’ generated by internationalism and multiculturalism which may provide ethical as well as aesthetic space for promoting community based theatre projects with young people of varied ethnicities. I focus on three of nine youth theatre groups organised by the theatre and explore their relationship with the theatre and each other. The groups had differing access to the theatre building - occasional audience members (case study one), occasional performers (case study two), and regularly rehearsing/performing at the theatre (case study three). The study discovered that the more insider access a young person has to a theatre the deeper the levels of meaning they ascribe to it. Case study one is based in a community with a majority Muslim Pakistani population. Highlighting the specific realities of being young and Muslim in 2011, the research explores the role that ethnicity has on engagement with the theatre and the youth theatre. Case study two is based in a working class community. Interrogating the young people’s own assessment of their area as ‘chavy’, the research highlights the impact of class on accessing The REP and its youth theatre. The final study explores the relationship to the theatre of a youth theatre group which rehearsed inside the building and the consequences of the theatre closing for refurbishment for two years. It also examines why this centrally based youth theatre group was unrepresentative of city demographics. I conclude by reflecting on the effectiveness of the strategies implemented by the theatre. This study should be relevant to other theatres, youth theatres and organisations seeking to increase their accessibility and cultural representation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education ; PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater