the politics of community theatre

As part of the acta Foundation quarterly seminar series, acta is delighted to offer three seminars in partnership with Dr Kerrie Schaefer, University of Exeter, leading to acta’s national community theatre festival, 13 – 16 June 2016.

Supported by AHRC and Arts Council England.

This first seminar, chaired by Dr Kerrie Schaefer, will take place in the actacentre Studio on Friday 13 November, 1.30 – 4.30pm.

Then and Now – When acta started in 1985, it was Thatcher’s Britain. Today in 2015, acta’s work is thriving under another Conservative government. Over the last 30 years, communities across Bristol and beyond have created nearly 400 original theatre shows with acta. How much of this work has been a political response to the inequalities of our society, theatre and the arts? Is acta a political organisation?

The expert panel will include:-

  • Dr Jenny Hughes, University of Manchester (read her blog)
  • Neil Beddow, acta Artistic Director
  • Declan Mallon, Upstate Theatre Project (Upstate Theatre)
  • Francois Matarasso, writer, researcher and artist (

The seminar will be followed by a community theatre show from Upstate Theatre Project in Co Louth, Ireland, The Far Side, 7.30pm at the actacentre. (The theatre bar will be open for anyone wishing to stay on at actacentre between the two events.)

Both events will be free of charge, but booking is recommended.

Download an introduction to the seminar from Dr Kerrie Schaefer HERE

Please register your attendance at the afternoon seminar by completing below:-

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