I’m just coming to the end of my first year as a Doctoral Researcher. I’m undoubtedly going to be blogging more about the PhD as I go along but, for now, if you’re not my supervisor and you want official words about the scope of my thesis then your wish is my command:

Dream 16: Amateur and professional Shakespeare and the question of communal identity

Through its performance history and interaction with both professional and amateur companies A Midsummer Night’s Dream has implicitly become a national play, simultaneously capable of upholding and subverting national identities. It is this context which gives A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation the opportunity to negotiate tensions of identity, not only between professional and amateur, but also between participant and spectator, artistic practice and cultural policy, and Shakespeare and national and local identities.

The thesis will explore how far, and in what ways, Dream 16 uses its national text to create or challenge communal identities through its interaction with a number of key themes arising from the project: professional and amateur identities of performance, temporal and geographical place, digital space, young people’s participation and its afterlife.