The aim of this research project was to determine and describe the challenges and advantages presented to artists taking part in student theatre festivals as well as the challenges and advantages presented to the organisers of such festivals. A further aim of the study was to determine, address and describe the functions of a student theatre festival within the community in which it takes place and then to describe how such a festival could be most effectively organised and planned. The study is original, since very little research has been done on this topic in the past. When collecting data for the project, no documents were found describing such study projects. The findings of this study are also important, since guidelines are given aiding festival organisers and future festival organisers in the effective planning and organising of such an event. The research was conducted using three research methodologies. These were a survey of scholarship, structured and semi-structured interviews and action research. The information gathered by the first two methodologies is described in chapter 2. Information gathered by the action research methodology is described in chapter 3, which is a case study of the 2001 and 2002 Krêkvars arts festivals. After the first festival had ended, it was evaluated in terms of which methods of planning were successful and which were not. The second festival was then planned, adapting the unsuccessful methods and emphasising the successful ones. Thereafter the festival was evaluated again, formulating suggestions for the effective planning and organisation of a student theatre festival. From this research project, it can be concluded that student theatre festivals present many advantages and challenges for those involved. It is therefore necessary for the organisers to be well prepared for the task at hand and to do sufficient planning in order to most effectively organise such an event.
Dissertation (MA (Drama))--University of Pretoria, 2005.