Resetting the Stage

Public Theatre between the Market and Democracy

Dragan Klaic

Resetting the Stage
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Dragan Klaic

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

190 pages | 12 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2012
Paper $35.50 ISBN: 9781841505473 Published December 2012
Commercial theater is thriving across Europe and the UK, while public theater has suffered under changing patterns of cultural consumption—as well as sharp reductions in government subsidies for the arts. At a time when the rationale behind these subsidies is being widely reexamined, it has never been more important for public theater to demonstrate its continued merit. In Resetting the Stage, Dragan Klaic argues convincingly that, in an increasingly crowded market of cultural goods, public theater is best served not by imitating its much larger commercial counterpart, but by asserting its artistic distinctiveness and the considerable benefit this confers on the public.

Part I: A Blurred Role
1. Public and Commercial Theatre: Distinct and Enmeshed
    The ensemble model
    Public subsidies ensure cultural respectability
    Crisis—a permanent condition or a discursive image?
    A thriving commercial theatre
    The specific merits of public theatre
2. Public Theatre: Challenges and Responses
    Rising costs, limited compensation
    Increasing own income
    A minority leisure option
    Altered urban demography
    Insufficient coping solutions
3. Production Models: Reps, Groups and Production Houses
    Repertory theatre: Limitations and adjustments
    Repertory companies outlive communism
    Groups: An ethos of innovation
    Transformation dynamics
4. The Specific Offer of Public Theatre
    Making sense of classical drama
    Stimulating new playwriting
    Post-dramatic theatre
    Opera and music theatre: Confronting elitism
    Varieties of dance
    Theatre for children and young people
    Other theatre forms
Part II: Asserting Own Distinction
5. Programming Strategies
    A disorienting abundance
    Prompting name recognition
    Programming in larger templates
6. A Sense of Place
    Failed reforms, some accomplishments
    A matter of context
    Space markers
    Big or small?
    Newly built or recycled?
    Away from the theatre
7. Finding the Audience, Making the Audience
    Audiences: Limited, elusive and unstable
    Commitment to education
    Outreach strategies
    Communication: Creating own media outlets
8. Theatre in a Globalised World
    The changing role of festivals
    International cooperation in the performing arts
    An emerging European cultural space
    Trans-European vistas
    An antidote to complacency
9. Leadership, Governance and Cultural Policy
    Leadership: Fantasies of a cultural Superman
    Governance matters: Boards safeguarding autonomy
    Minima moralia for a public theatre system
    Funding: Decision-makers and their criteria
    Public theatre and public culture

In Place of an Epilogue: The Prospects for Public Theatre in Europe
About the Author
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