A Place in the Sun: An Exploration of the Theatre Ecology of the Gold Coast of Australia
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A Place in the Sun explores theatre and its practice in a distinctive Australian regional community, the Gold Coast in the South East corner of Queensland. Theatre in Australian communities, from small regional towns to capital cities has, historically, been the site of a great deal of activity and achievement and this study sought to engage with its contemporary form. This study asked whether there was a local theatre practice, what it comprised, who was involved and why they were so engaged. To facilitate this inquiry, I proposed that the theatre and performance activities of a community be seen as an ecology. The ecological paradigm links the individual elements of theatre-making; the various people, companies and types of performance. Reinforcing this is a paradigm of integration that highlights a relationship that is symbiotic between these elements and the social, cultural and economic environment that they operate in. Using an ecological paradigm allows us to consider the elements of theatre as being involved in constant exchanges that makes all parts of this ecology reliant to some degree on all the other parts. This study was underpinned by two initial guiding propositions. The first was that there was a discernible relationship between a community and the theatre that is made in it. The existence of a relationship means that understanding the community assists in understanding the theatre that emanates from it, and vice versa. The second was that considering theatre and performance in ecological terms provides a significant and constructive opportunity to reframe our understanding of the nature of this relationship between theatre, its practice and the community from which these emerge.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Education and Professional Studies
Theatre, Gold Coast, Queensland
Performance activities, Gold Coast, Queensland