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Id 133
Author McDonnell, B., ; Shellard, D.,
Title Social impact study of UK theatre

McDonnell, B. & Shellard, D. (2006). Social impact study of UK theatre. London: Arts Council England.

Keywords Artistic excellence; Cultural partnerships; Political and economic barriers to participation; Participatory creative processes; Giving a public voice to marginalised experiences; Ethical practices; Evaluation
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Abstract This research assesses theatre’s social impact, within a framework which builds on the creative aims and analyses of theatre practitioners. It draws on examples of good practice and highlights the values and practical steps which underlie it. The findings are based on a questionnaire, which was sent to 448 members of ITC, as well as an intensive examination – based on interviews and documents – of ten selected companies. Finally, four of these companies were visited; they form the case studies.

Metodology The centrepiece of the survey methods was an extensive interview with each company, based on the original questionnaire. Companies were also asked for detailed documentation on their history, and on their current work. In addition, the work of four companies was chosen for more intensive investigation, including visits to performances and workshops. These form the basis for the case studies.

Findings Practitioners had a clear understanding of their artistic aims and of the social intentions behind their work • Almost nine of out ten of practitioners surveyed considered that theatre had a personal impact on participants. • More than eight out of ten of practitioners surveyed considered that theatre resulted in group impacts. • Two thirds of practitioners surveyed assessed theatre as having civic impacts. • More than four out of ten of practitioners surveyed believed that theatre has hard impacts. • Social impacts were found across a rich spectrum of activity, spanning both process-led and performance-centred work. • Stable funding was critical to social impact. • Further work was needed to define more clearly the types of impact identified through the survey.
Open Access YES
Search Database OpenAIRE
Technique Interview
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