Dutch theatre politics in crisis?

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    This chapter investigates the values behind Dutch theatre policies. If we consider crises as ‘significant shifts in the way theatre is understood, organised, delivered and received’ (Balme and Fisher in the Introduction), it is interesting to research shifts in the values behind theatre politics as an important condition for the functioning of theatre in society. What values does the government impart on the theatre sector, and do changes in such values represents a crisis that provides ‘productive ways to think about the future’ (ibid)? The analysis presented here focuses on spoken theatre, a part of the Dutch theatre sector that to a very large extent is dependent on subsidies, much like (modern) dance and opera, but in sharp contrast to musical and cabaret, genres that are almost exclusively privately produced. However, the analysis may have a wider relevance than just spoken theatre.

    January 1st, 2013 may be considered a crisis moment in Dutch theatre politics. As of that date, substantial cuts in the national budgets available for theatre, and the arts at large, were implemented, amounting to a decrease of ca. 25% in public funding for theatre. The budget-cuts should be considered a seismic shift in Dutch cultural policies, as until then the cultural budget was always relatively spared in times of austerity measures. Now, the cuts on culture were twice as high as the general austerity measures which amounted to ca. 10% of the national budget (Van Meerkerk and Van den Hoogen 2018). This chapter first presents some background information on the Dutch theatre policy, its legal underpinnings and its arm’s length principle arrangements. Then the research method, which is based in the value sociology of Boltanksi and Thévenot (2006) is presented, followed by a description of the outcomes of the empirical research and a discussion as to how they present a crisis.
    Originele taal-2English
    TitelTheatre Institutions in Crisis
    SubtitelEuropean Perspectives
    RedacteurenChristopher Balme, Tony Fisher
    Plaats van productieLondon
    Aantal pagina's12
    ISBN van elektronische versie9780429294167
    ISBN van geprinte versie9780367266103
    StatusPublished - 2021

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