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Title: A study of amateur theatre : making and making-do
Author: Gray, Cara
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 1714
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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This doctoral thesis offers an analysis of the affective communities of amateur theatre. This study is motivated by the need to engage seriously with amateur dramatics as a subject of scholarly investigation, and pays particular attention to the spaces and processes involved in amateur theatre-making that are often hidden from public view. Drawing on research conducted with the Settlement Players, an amateur dramatics group situated in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, this thesis details empirical research with the group between the years 2014 and 2016. Specifically, this thesis analyses amateur dramatics as a craft and creative practice. It places focus on the people involved in backstage roles as set builders, set designers and costume-makers, aspects of theatre-making that has often been neglected by theatre and performance scholars. This interdisciplinary study foregrounds the backstage work that happens before, after and around a performance rather than the performance itself, and draws on theatre and performance studies, cultural geography and design theory to analyse the amateur theatre-makers' craft. Three empirical chapters foreground amateur dramatics as a process rather than a product, by paying particular attention to the spatial, material, embodied and technical dimensions of the amateur theatre-making over the thing produced - the play, the theatrical set, the costume. It explores how amateur theatre-makers have the capacity to transform mundane, everyday spaces through the process of their creative 'doings', and in doing so can become biographically bound to them; how amateur theatre-makers fashion workspaces within their homes and in doing so create a space in which they can perform their creative identities, outside of the theatre space; and how processes such as repair and DIY characterise the amateur theatre-makers' craft. This research speaks to debates in amateur studies, to scholars in the fields of cultural geography and design whose interests lie in the processes and spaces of amateur creativity, and to the emerging field of scholarly research into backstage work within theatre and performance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: amateur theatre ; amateur dramatics ; amateur craft ; amateur creativity ; set building ; backstage work ; making ; making-do ; apprenticeship ; amateur theatre-makers ; theatre studies ; cultural geography ; costume-makers ; set builders ; creative doings ; process ; visual ethnography