Sustainability of community-based theatre: A case study of Repertory Invercargill

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Vyas, Bhargav
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Master of Applied Management
Southern Institute of Technology (SIT)
Bodkin-Allen, Sally
Masters Dissertation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Repertory Invercargill (N.Z.)
Invercargill (N.Z.)
New Zealand
community theatres
business practices
community engagement
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Vyas, B. (2021). Sustainability of community-based theatre: A case study of Repertory Invercargill. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Management). Southern Institute of Technology (SIT), New Zealand.
PURPOSE This convergent mixed method, case study was designed to explore the community factors that have led to sustainability of Repertory Invercargill in Invercargill, New Zealand. METHODOLOGY This case study allowed the lives of participants to be explored through semi-structured interviews. The themes were organised into four dimension of sense of community described by David McMillan and David Chavis; these are membership, influence, integration and fulfilment of needs, and shared emotional connection. Simultaneously, quantitative data was collected by administering two questionnaires for people who have attended Repertory Invercargill productions and who have not attended any productions in the last three years. Qualitative data was coded using QUIRKOS software and quantitative data was analysed using SPSS. Care was taken to ensure that research is undertook following protocols set by the ethics committee of Southern Institute of Technology (SIT). Reliability and validity was ensured while collected and analysing the data. FINDINGS The findings indicated that Repertory Invercargill possess strong sense of community which contribute towards its long lasting sustainability. Members were often guided with mentorship and were provided with a platform to develop their skills in theatre arts. The quantitative findings indicated that majority of the young people of Invercargill had not attended any shows staged by Repertory Invercargill in the last three years. Despite of that, the organisation was thriving mainly due the continuous support from local community who supported Repertory Invercargill and their value it generates in the community of Invercargill. CONCLUSIONS Repertory Invercargill serves as a model for other community theatres thriving for sustainability. Mainly because of a strong sense of community within the organisation. For audience engagement, ticket prices should be considered while staging shows and marketing should also be taken into account. RECOMMENDATIONS An extensive training program especially in the areas of backstage, productions, lighting and set building must be developed. An aggressive outreach programme must be developed to encourage the community members to be part of performing arts community. Strategic planning was required to develop short-term and long-term plans for the organisation. Finally, a marketing and branding consultant must be hired to attract populations from other cultures and communities residing in Invercargill.
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