This thesis research aims to define, identify, and promote community theatre as a “third space” for disadvantaged youth. A third space is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “...the in-between, or hybrid, spaces, where the first and second spaces work together to generate a new third space. First and second spaces are two different, and possibly conflicting, spatial groupings where people interact physically and socially: such as home (everyday knowledge) and school (academic knowledge)” (Oxford Dictionary, 2021). For disadvantaged youth, the creation of a third space in the theatre can give them a safe environment away from issues they may have at home or at school, it can further their learning about themselves and others, and it can also help those youth feel a sense of belonging to a community larger than themselves. Because of these benefits, it is clear that performing arts programs can offer a great impact on disadvantaged youth; however, many theatre companies struggle to market their programming to said communities. This may be in part, due to low marketing budgets, no specificity in labor resources dedicated to youth programming, or ineffective marketing strategies and tactics. This research aims to provide tangible recommendations for youth programmers to better involve their target audience.
- Performing Arts Programming for Disadvantaged Youth: An Analysis of Effective Marketing Strategies