Lochaber Showstoppers: A Case Study of Amateur Dramatics in Remote Locations
Lochaber Showstoppers is a theatre group based in the Highlands of Scotland in Lochaber, which encompasses small communities such as Fort William, Ballachulish and Spean Bridge, to name just a few. The community based amateur group, in their own words, "was established with the aim of encouraging community access to and involvement in musical theatre within Lochaber" (Lochaber Showstoppers, 2015). Unlike more central areas of Scotland, for the Lochaber region this was the only opportunity of its kind for the residents at the time of its formation in 1993. This study seeks to explore and hopefully provide an answer to the question 'How can amateur dramatics thrive in remote areas?'. To do this, qualitative, quantitative and quali-quant methods of research will be utilised within a case study research framework of the group Lochaber Showstoppers, a thriving amateur dramatics group based within a remote location. This dissertation will seek to investigate the specific challenges facing an amateur community based theatre company situated in a rural and remote area and how this location can help or hinder the group. This study will seek to identify the main problems that arise in amateur remote theatre and discuss possible solutions or improvements to ensure that these challenges do not encumber the opportunity for drama and performing in smaller communities. In doing so, my goal is to find ways to make theatre more accessible, practical and viable for those living in more rural and remote areas where the opportunities to participate in, or even to see, live theatre can be very restricted.