Putting Community into Community Theatre: should the youth theatre programme at Norway’s Rogaland Teater be used as a model for improving social inclusivity in Scotland’s Citizens Theatre and Dundee Rep?
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With the influence of the European Union, the Scottish Government has regarded the pursuit of social inclusivity as a top priority for Scotland’s future. As the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU, the importance of this issue may be more relevant than ever before. Young people in Glasgow and Dundee, where poverty is rife, face an uncertain future. Using the example of an acclaimed Norwegian youth theatre, the social inclusivity of youth theatre programmes in these two Scottish cities are compared and evaluated. In doing so, this study explores the question: should the youth theatre programmes at Norway’s Rogaland Teater be used a model for improving social inclusivity in Scotland’s Citizens Theatre and Dundee Rep? This comparative case study uses an emic epistemology to analyse qualitative data, collected through group interviews of staff members and young people who participate in the youth theatre programmes. The testimonies of twenty-nine anonymous participants associated with the three theatres were analysed to determine their perceived attitudes and shared experiences. Alongside textual and discourse analysis of each theatres’ perceived core values and goals, the social inclusivity of the theatres’ practice is determined. Ultimately, this dissertation identifies the ways in which the youth theatre programmes at Citizens Theatre and Dundee Rep should follow the model of Rogaland Teater, in order to improve social inclusivity. The study simultaneously reveals the role which consistent funding and societal attitudes play in the theatres’ ability to widen participation of their youth theatre programmes to low-income families, as a means of tackling social exclusion.