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The Theatre: Art or Business?
6 June 2019

Theatre is an amazing and enchanting world, which has spellbound audiences for centuries. It has borne witness to various epochs, and gone through periods of boom and decline. Throughout it all, however, it has remained a very special art form. Over the past few decades, the theatre, like other social institutions, has gone through numerous upheavals. The experimentation of the 1980s and ‘90s, as well as the reforms of recent years have all had an impact on the inner workings of the theatre business and the ways in which theatres and audiences interact. Theatre has recently ceased to be a form of art purely funded by patrons or the state — it is now a fast-growing business industry. Several productions already have budgets running into the millions of dollars, and new theatres are being built at a rapid pace in new markets such as Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Several stars of the stage have schedules booked for years in advance. What is behind all this? State programmes or private investors? Do expensive productions offer meaningful returns through ticket sales? And are theatre tours a way of promoting a nation’s culture, or simply a means to make money?

Started at
Conference hall
Congress Centre, Sberbank Hall
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