Pratt, Jacob Lewis (2017) 'Don't be an Artist': An Exploration into the Career Viability of UK Theatre Companies in the Socio-Political Landscape of the 21st Century. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This study explores the most prevalent and challenging socio-political factors currently
facing emerging theatre makers forming theatre companies in the UK. Through interviews with theatre makers who have worked within the framework of a theatre company over the last four decades, the research examines the methods these companies have utilised in order to successfully maintain their creative process.

It begins with a brief explanation of important terminology and then continues by providing an historical context for the development of theatre companies in this country. The research also establishes the important role of Arts Council England (ACE) as a primary source of funding and support for theatre companies of varying scale and resources.

The thesis continues by establishing the possible avenues for subsidising the income of a theatre company and focuses on the companies who have pursued different avenues of funding for primarily original material encompassing live performances, installations, annual festivals and more. The section is punctuated with ideological arguments for and against these routes and the ethical implications of pursuing each one. The final chapter discusses the possible structures theatre companies can take whilst simultaneously examining the ethical responsibility theatre companies have when operating commercially and on a not-for-profit basis.

The study concludes by examining the likelihood of career longevity for those working in theatre companies in the 21st Century; noting that there can be no room for structural or ideological absolutes, as the successful theatre company must operate as a hybrid. The research examines the idea that theatre companies will need to adapt and shift to the demands of organisations such as Arts Council England or learn to generate other means of support by finding private organisations who do not compromise the moral principles of the artist.

FINAL THESIS - Pratt.pdf - Accepted Version
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