Date of Award
Master of Arts
Musicianship & Academic Studies
Dr. Susan O'Regan
Amateur musical theatre has its roots in long-standing theatre traditions that include both professional and amateur production. Apart from the performance, which is the over-arching goal, participation in amateur musical theatre yields many other personal and social benefits in areas of learning, community and identity, aligning with Wenger’s concept of a ‘Community of Practice’.
Using an analytical framework based on previous studies in this area, this research investigates how amateur musical theatre functions as a ‘Community of Practice’. The research was conducted using an ethnographic case study of two contrasting local amateur productions. Experiential data and details regarding participant interactions were gathered via observation, field notes and interviews. Analysis of data follows Wenger’s categories, including aspects of mutual engagement, joint enterprise and shared repertoire, showing how meaningful friendships are formed whilst also achieving rehearsal and performance goals. The data analysis will also include a consideration of nature of the learning that occurs in accordance with established research of formal, informal and non-formal practices. The research contributes to an understanding of the value of musical theatre and what it offers to the amateur participant, in terms of learning, social interaction and educational potential.
Walsh, Kevin, "‘The Show Must Go On’: Amateur Musical Theatre as a Community of Practice" (2018). Theses [online].
Available at: https://sword.cit.ie/allthe/137
Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Arts Degree.