'There is no audience: meeting the dramaturgical challenges of the spectator in children’s theatre.'

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Facilitators working with young people using drama processes pay particular attention to issues of differentiation within groups, seeking to contextualise and tailor their approaches and to ensure that each individual's needs are recognised and acknowledged. This essay explores how strategies for differentiation may be incorporated into performances for young audiences, rather than treating spectators as part of a homogeneous 'audience'. The analysis is based on a case study of a project undertaken by the University of Ulster for the Belfast Children's Festival 2010, The Little Box of Wonders. It examines how the performance was devised with children as a way of understanding their interests in the material being used and how this developmental process was subsequently articulated through specific dramaturgical strategies. It places these strategies in relation to frameworks for understanding the development of children, connecting theoretical perspectives with proposals for practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheatre for Young Audiences in the UK
EditorsKarian Schuitema, Tom Maguire
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherUCL Press
ISBN (Print)978-1-85856-501-9
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2012


  • Theatre for Young Audiences
  • spectatorship
  • interactivity
  • dramaturgy


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