Young People, Musical Theatre and Identity

Braverman, Danny. 2021. Young People, Musical Theatre and Identity. In: Nicholas McGuinn; Norio Ikeno; Ian Davies and Edda Sant, eds. International Perspectives on Drama and Citizenship: Acting Globally. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 29-38. ISBN 9780367524876 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

The transition into adulthood presents an increasingly complex range of concrete and psychological barriers for young people. At a time in their lives when self-definition and community-identity are key to self-actualisation, formal education marginalises creativity and is driven by economic imperatives, with young people at the sharp end of a global mental health crisis. Meanwhile, in school and out, musical theatre persists as a dominant participatory form, with a heavy reliance on conventional productions of a limited canon of commercial musicals. Rarely does this accessible and popular form effectively examine the identities of non-normative contemporary young people, nor is it created through inclusive methodologies. In this chapter, the author explores how his creation of the script for the youth musical Something Inside So Strong, based on the songs of songwriter and activist Labi Siffre, sought to address how non-normative identity and a sense of community resilience can be developed. The process of this practice-as-research created fresh insights into the positionality of the artist-teacher, the relationship between collaborative dramaturgy and intersectionality and the challenges and limitations of both formal and informal education.

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Book Section

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Additional Information:

"This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in 'International Perspectives on Drama and Citizenship: Acting Globally' on 4 November 2021, available online: It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.”


Musical theatre; drama; intersectionality; dramaturgy; young people

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


12 February 2020Accepted
28 May 2020Submitted
4 November 2021Published

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Date Deposited:

28 Feb 2023 15:15

Last Modified:

04 May 2023 01:26


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