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Re-igniting the legacy of diversity in Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA): How the 1980s democratic ethos at Theatre Centre (UK) under the leadership of David Johnston can inform current theatre practice.

Braverman, Daniel. 2018. Re-igniting the legacy of diversity in Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA): How the 1980s democratic ethos at Theatre Centre (UK) under the leadership of David Johnston can inform current theatre practice. Cogent Arts and Humanities, [Article] (Submitted)

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Abstract or Description

In this article I consider the legacy of my late mentor David Johnston, the pioneering producer of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) in the UK. Prompted by a symposium at Derby Theatre in February 2018, I reflect on how Johnston's innovations as Artistic Director of the TYA company Theatre Centre (1977-1986) can inform current debates about diversity, dramaturgy and arts-in-education. I use Paolo Freire's pedagogic approach (1970), Jill Dolan's concept of "utopias in performance" (2005) and John Swain and Sally French's "affirmative model of disability" (2000) as theoretical frameworks to explore Theatre Centre's practice. Through analysis of a re-discovered 1986 documentary film about Theatre Centre, re-examination of David Holman's influential play Peacemaker (1982) and a consideration of other contributions at the symposium, I argue that the TYA theatre-makers of the '80s were part of a radical, democratic movement that can inform the creation of an alternative to current neoliberal practices. Finally, in recognition that Johnston's central talent was to apply democratic principles to fluctuating contexts, I propose some recommendations for current UK theatre practice in his spirit.

Item Type:

Article

Keywords:

Theatre; education; schools; diversity; democracy.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)

Dates:

DateEvent
4 July 2018Submitted

Item ID:

23661

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2018 09:52

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2018 16:31

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/23661

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