According to theater professionals interviewed in the Twin Cities and a review of recent academic literature relative to audiences for American theater, audiences are aging, and attendance rates are declining. This phenomenological study explores what some theaters are doing to develop a sustainable younger audience for the future. It also looks at live theater and participatory theater workshops for young people and their value for enhancing life experiences of young people. This paper describes research with theater organizations in the Twin Cities and with youth in Metro Area schools and finds that there is a gap between what most area theaters are currently doing and what they could be doing to engage young people. This paper reviews academic literature, discusses research findings and observations, and makes recommendations based on these findings.
University of Minnesota Plan C final project paper for ACL 8002, Instructor Thomas Borrup. Spring 2018. Degree: Master of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Leadership. 2 digital files (pdf).
An Exploration of Methods and Challenges in Building Younger Theater Audiences.
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