Norwegian Theatre – a blind spot on cultural policy’s participatory agenda?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBerg. Norwegian Theatre – a blind spot on cultural policy’s participatory agenda?. Nordisk kulturpolitisk tidsskrift. 2019;22:26-49
Audience participation is a concept discussed across the areas of cultural policy, cultural management, aesthetic theory, and artistic practice. The starting point of this article is an interest in how cultural policy affects artistic practices, and an attempt to make this link visible. To do this I focus on audience participation in the theatre, in particular the Norwegian project Bergen Citizens’ Theatre (Bergen Borgerscene). In recent cultural policy theory, considerable attention is given to the concept of a participatory agenda in policymaking. Based on examples of a participatory agenda evidenced in several European large-scale cultural programs and funding guidelines, I discuss whether Bergen Citizens’ Theatre is an articulation of a participatory agenda in the national cultural policy of Norway, or rather a participatory blind spot in current policies. I direct my attention to the professional theatre, as this is where I see the biggest challenges to implementing a participatory agenda.