Theatres as risk societies

Performing artists balancing between artistic and economic risk

This paper examines how performing artists balance between economic and artistic risk-taking within the performing arts sector. The paper is based on a comparative study, including qualitative interviews with performing artists working in three different theatres in three different countries: England, Norway and the Netherlands. The paper discuss how different ways of organizing theatres and different theatre policy represent different systems of economic risk managing, and further how they facilitate artistic risk taking. The author identifies three different approaches to risk management in these three countries: a collectivization of risk, an institutionalization of risk and an individualization of risk. Theoretically, the paper makes use of, and criticizes the work sociology developed by Ulrich Becks and Richard Sennet, as well as welfare theory, including Esping-Andersen.


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