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Id 901
Author Staniškytė J.
Title From institutional fatigue to creative communication: Audience development in Lithuanian theatres

Staniškytė J.; From institutional fatigue to creative communication: Audience development in Lithuanian theatres ;Nordic Theatre Studies vol:30.0 issue: 1.0 page:72.0

Keywords Audience development; Audience research; Lithuanian theatre; Participatory culture; Public theatres
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Abstract A considerable decreasing number of visitors to artistic and cultural institutions, which in certain European countries has dropped 50%, the unfavourable demographic situation, receding public finances, the growing competitive ability of user-oriented, interactive entertainment industries, and the new technology sector, which is especially disturbing for artistic institutions in post-Soviet countries, where they are used to limit competition - these are the major issues that are forcing the decision makers of cultural politics to focus their attention on art audiences at the topmost institutional level. In the context of these transformations, the concept of audience development, denominated by Nobuko Kawashima “a conflicting term” almost two decades ago, is becoming even more complex. Placed at the centre of the political and financial agenda of the European Union (EU) by its cultural policy makers, it is, on the one hand, born out of the desire to place part of the financial burden of support for cultural institutions on the shoulders of the public, but on the other hand, it also signals the wish to shake up the passive European citizen, to activate his/her civic sense through artistic practices, or even to help “combat social exclusion”. The article focuses on the theoretical and practical implications as well as the effectiveness and limitations of various forms of audience development employed by publicly funded theatres in Lithuania. Empirical research is based on qualitative interviews with managers and art directors of Lithuanian theatre companies as well as focus group audience research. The larger questions about the possible outcomes of various audience development strategies - whether during these developments, Lithuanian theatres will become places of creative cooperation open to diverse audiences or simply fields of aggressive marketing - will be addressed as well. © Jurgita Staniskyte and Nordic Theatre Studies



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