17th April 2010
Rose Bruford College, Lamorbey Park, Sidcup, DA15 9DF | map
Recent years have seen the development of many projects recording the oral history of various aspects of theatre. These have included nationally-focused initiatives like the Sheffield/British Library one, which concentrated on the period 1945-68, and Unfinished Histories, which addressed alternative theatre history c1968-1988.
Many locally based projects, some of them funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of architectural development projects, have looked at memories of particular buildings, from the Lyric Belfast to the Wolverhampton Grand, helping to create a sense of community ownership and engagement with theatre building. Others address key periods of achievement such as that of the post-1960 Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Meanwhile the National Theatre and the Royal Opera House have established projects gathering the experiences of practitioners, while other efforts have centred on particular professional groups, such as stage designers, or areas of work like Black and Asian theatre or queer performance.
The recently published report commissioned by the STR from Susan Croft thoroughly maps these many and varied efforts, records detailed responses and gives extensive lists of interviewees. It also raises key issues for the future of the field. (The report is available here.)
This conference will be the first to examine the applications of oral history to the recording of theatre history. It will look at its practicalities, methodologies and ethics, discuss how best to disseminate findings, examine outcomes of individual projects and make concrete recommendations for the future.
As well as inviting specific speakers we are asking for proposals from potential contributors across the field, not only for traditional papers but also for presentations of resources created as a result of oral history projects, performances and practical 'How to' sessions. Contributions should normally be 15-20 minutes long.
Areas of focus might include:
NB. While the oral history of various groups and communities has frequently acted as source material for the development of theatre projects, this is not the focus of the planned conference as it is an area well-served by recent conferences on documentary and verbatim theatre.
Those wishing to contribute are asked to send a short 100-200 word outline of their proposed paper and any technical resources required to: Dr Susan Croft, Conference Co-ordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for submission of proposals 31/12/09.
Related STR Pages
More Conference Information
Oral History Survey
Other Events Index
30th November 2009