Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Musicianship & Academic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Susan O'Regan

Second Advisor

Róisín Maher


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

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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