Waikato Journal of Education
Journal cover


Community theatre


This paper is the outcome of qualitative research undertaken around a community theatre production presented at the Hamilton Fuel Festival 2006. Swamp Treasures was an attempt to articulate in a theatre aesthetic the plight of the wetland regions in the Waikato province. There were 80 participants, a choir, an orchestra, an elaborate set, lighting design and over 30 specifically made theatre masks. I invited a group of eight teenagers to watch the performance and they were then interviewed, answering specific questions. The data were then considered using Kant's theories of beauty, aesthetics and communication as a reference point for the production's development, delivery and effectiveness. As Swamp Treasures was designed as a montage of impressions and points of view, the research has been able to evaluate the artistic efficacy of the differing styles and the aptitude of these techniques to transfer information.

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