UPDATE: Regional Theatre Since 1980 (UK) (2/28/06; 9/8/06-9/10/06)
Call for Papers
The Glory of the Garden
Regional Theatre Since 1980
8th-10th September 2006
Liverpool John Moores University
In 1984, George Rowell and Anthony Jackson published their history of what we then more commonly referred to as 'repertory' theatre concluding:
Repertory has, then, contributed to British theatre's sense of itself in that it has provided the basic network of the nation's theatre, without which it would be wholly London-based and deprived of much of that new talent in writing, acting and direction which found its opportunity in the regions. Repertory has provided the decentralised nurturing of artistic strength and individuality and the focus for local cultural growth which has given British theatre the vitality and variety for which it has become so internationally renowned. (The Repertory Movement: A History of Regional Theatre in Britain: 190)
They continue by raising a series of questions/points facing the survival of regional theatres in the eighties:
* How will it respond to the increasing challenge of the home entertainment industry and the correspondingly higher expectations and greater sophistication of audiences?
* Will the prestige theatres built in the expansive days of the sixties prove manageable still in the cost-cutting eighties?
* "We may indeed have seen the end of a further phase of the repertory movement. In recent years, with only a few exceptions, the initiative for new and exciting developments, has been with the heavily subsidised national companies on the one hand and the generally under-subsidised 'alternative companies on the other. The end of a movement does not matter; the end of movement does." (Our emphasis:191)
The Repertory Movement: A History of Regional Theatre in Britain was the last attempt to provide some kind of overview of the history and development of theatre in the regions. The conference is an attempt to pick up the reins and to bring the argument up to date. To try and answer some of the questions and uncertainties left hanging in the early eighties and to ascertain what movement there has been, what movement there might still be.
Papers may focus on:
* Individual theatres during this period (or moments in the histories of individual theatres) - or comparative histories
* Broader issues surrounding the history of regional theatres - the demise of ensemble companies, the role/development of the audience, the economic impact of theatres
* Wider cultural shifts: arts council policy or governmental changes of emphasis and their impact for and on theatre in the regions
* The big questions: why theatre in the regions? Do we need buildings? How do we locate regional development in wider cultural debates about local/global?
This is by no means meant as an exhaustive list and papers on other areas would be welcomed.
Please send a 300-word outline of the paper by 28th February 2006 to either:
Ros Merkin: r.merkin_at_ljmu.ac.uk <mailto:r.merkin_at_ljmu.ac.uk> or
Abi Mountford: a.mountford_at_ljmu.ac.uk <mailto:a.mountford_at_ljmu.ac.uk>
Everyman Theatre Archive Project
0151 231 3049
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or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Thu Feb 02 2006 - 14:31:09 EST