Dr Cara Gray Latest Theatres in Towns Research

Message from Dr Cara Gray about her latest research about theatres in towns, which includes the Settlement Players.

A couple of things that I wanted to share from our short research project which you might find interesting – firstly, I wanted to share with you the chapter of our book that the Settlement Players featured in.

Here is a link to the open access book https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/oa-edit/10.4324/9781003308058/theatre-towns-helen-nicholson-jenny-hughes-gemma-edwards-cara-grayTheatre in Towns | Helen Nicholson, Jenny Hughes, Gemma Edwards, Cara

Theatre in Towns offers a contemporary perspective on the role of theatre in the cultural life of towns in England. Exploring volunteer-led, professional
and www.taylorfrancis.com If you go to Chapter 6 and download (it’s free!) you will be able to read it – let me know if it doesn’t work.

The chapter explores the idea of ‘hopeful towns’ and touches on the relationship between creativity and the Garden City Movement and how that legacy can be found today in theatre groups, and mentions the Settlement Players.
It is a very forward-looking chapter, highlighting the potential for towns as inspiring places for theatre, but also looks back in history to hopeful movements that have involved towns and the connections between past and present.

This link is a report from the project which also uses the Settlement Players as a case study of how many theatre/theatres are kept running through voluntary effort, creativity and local networks. Lastly, I am in the process of preparing a chapter in a book about 20th century British theatre which includes a section about set building with you and the history of the Settlement, your Little Theatre and your ongoing relationship with the building.

I will update you on that when I hear more but it’s been so lovely to revisit that time in this chapter!Very best wishes,Cara 

Cara Grays Bio from the Players website, when Cara originally joined us as a PhD student in 2014!

Cara Joined the Settlement Players in 2014. Cara joined as part of research for a PhD looking at ‘Amateur Dramatics in Urban Utopias’, contributing to the wider AHRC funded project ‘Amateur Dramatics: Crafting Communities in Time and Space’ at the Royal Holloway, University of London.

As part of the Connected Communities Scheme, the project looks at how (and if) amateur theatre companies create, sustain, challenge and revitalise their communities, in order to explore what role amateur theatre plays in constructing and sustaining communities.

Taking Letchworth Garden City as a case study, the PhD will examine the historical and contemporary practice of Letchworth’s amateur dramatic companies, specifically investigating the ‘making’ of amateur theatre and the spaces in which these amateur creativities happen.

A booklet on ‘Reflecting on Amateur Theatre Research: 17th September 2016’ is available here Reflecting on amateur theatre by Amateurdramaresearch – Issuu , and has quotes and pictures of Settlement Players’