The British Theatre Consortium provides a forum in which theatre makers, administrators, students and academics can come together to share views on all issues concerning contemporary theatre and performance in Britain, from playwriting to live art, regional theatre to international touring, site-specific theatre to Shakespearean revivals, politics and art, subsidy and creativity.
Warwick Theatre's Janelle Reinelt has been a leading member of the British Theatre Consortium since its foundation. The BTC has worked on research projects with several important organisations in the arts sector including the Theatre Managers Association, the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA) and Arts Council England (ACE). In 2008, the BTC was commissioned by ACE to research the development of new theatre writing in England. Their report Writ Large: new writing on the English Stage 2003-2009 showed that there was an overall increase in the amount of new theatre being produced and received significant media coverage.
Professor Reinelt is leading the British Theatre Consortium's latest research project, Theatre Spectatorship and Value Attribution funded by the AHRC under its Cultural Value programme. The project builds on the BTC's long standing research into audience engagement which includes a seminar at the RSA to explore new methods for capturing engagement in 2010. In collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Young Vic Theatre and the Plymouth Drum theatre, the project is looking at how theatre audiences value the experience of attending performances. The project finishes in May 2014.
Through their conferences, seminars, research projects and reports, the BTC makes important and timely contributions to the critical issues facting the arts sector.
The BTC benefits:
- The arts sector
- Theatre companies
- Cultural Policy Analysts
- Government regulatory and funding bodies
- Bringing together theatre professionals with academic for meaningful and productive dialogue
- Producing commissioned research on issues closely related to the health of the British theatre industry
- Contributing towards a consensus in the arts sector on aspects of what constitutes value or how it is attributed
- Developing a conceptual platform from which to assess the arts experience. The current funding climate means that the need for a framework within which to understand and assess cultural value has become critical for the health and continuity of a robust arts sector.
- Situating 'experience' of the arts alongside economic or instrumental arguments for justifying the value of the arts
- Providing concrete evidence in the form of case studies which show how audiences respond and process their experiences of attending theatre performances to underpin policy and funding decisions