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Institute for Capitalising on Creativity

Audiences Born or Made? Best Practice in Creating Performing Arts Experiences for Under-3s

'Icepole' by Katy Wilson, 2011. Image (c) Neil Thomas Douglas'Icepole' by Katy Wilson, 2011. Image (c) Neil Thomas Douglas

PhD Student:
Ben Fletcher-Watson

Thesis Executive Summary Fletcher-Watson (PDF, 4,249 KB)

This project, completed in 2016, aims to explore the various emerging art forms within contemporary performing arts practice for the very young (birth to three years) in Scotland, including theatre, dance, opera, classical music and visual / kinetic art. Placing Scottish work firmly within its international context, the project also considers the impact of advances in developmental psychology and human rights debates on this often contentious area.

The main aim of the project is to ascertain how examples of promising practice have emerged organically from artists' own creativity, exploration and research. It then examines whether these schema can be adapted or applied more widely, to benefit both artists wishing to move into this field, and creative industries centred on babies and toddlers, such as film, TV and app development. It employs Grounded Theory to interrogate both traditional and participatory practices using in-depth focused interviews with artists, with the aim of collating a robust dramaturgy of arts for the very young, rooted in data.

This project has two industry co-sponsors: Imaginate delivers both performances and art form development, producing the Bank of Scotland Imaginate Festival of Theatre for Children and Young People each year. Starcatchers works in partnership with artists, arts venues, child-care settings and families to develop exciting, inspiring performing arts experiences for children aged 0-4 in Scotland.

Company Sponsors: Imaginate and Starcatchers.  Academic Partner: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

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Institute for Capitalising on Creativity
E: coca@st-andrews.ac.uk
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