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    National causes/moral clauses?: the National Theatre, young people and citizenship

    Deeney, John F. (2007) National causes/moral clauses?: the National Theatre, young people and citizenship. Research in drama education, 12 (3). pp. 331-344. ISSN 1470-112X

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    For over ten years, London's National Theatre, under the banner of 'Connections', has been commissioning ten professional playwrights per year, each to write a play for young people. The plays are workshopped and performed by secondary schools, colleges and youth theatres across the United Kingdom and Ireland, and are presented in a series of regional festivals at professional theatres and arts venues, before culminating in the showing of a selection of all ten plays at the National Theatre each summer. The location of Connections within a 'cultural flagship' such as the National Theatre might be seen to endorse state-sanctioned discourses where the interface between citizenship and young people is concerned. However, through focusing on two Connections' plays, Totally Over You and Citizenship, both by Mark Ravenhill, this article proposes that Connections has facilitated new dialectical possibilities that resist the conformist tendencies of authorised citizenship education. Most importantly, the article argues how the procedures and practices of so-called 'conventional' text-based theatre, in relation to both participation and spectatorship, are by no means antithetical to current developments in applied theatre that seek to question and redefine the terms of the relationship between citizenship and young people.

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