Ten years at the Sherman Theatre 1990-2000
: Creating and developing a young people's and emerging artists' strategy at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff 1990-2000

  • Philip Clark

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This overview, in partnership with the physical portfolio, chronicles my work as Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, 1990 - 2000 and demonstrates how I invented, created and developed a young people's and emerging artists' policy and strategy in this regional theatre over a ten year period.

    In 1990 I was appointed to the post to create and develop the Sherman Theatre as Wales' premiere pioneering theatre for young people. Within this paper I will describe my practice over the ten year period, but I will also examine in detail my own artistic work in the year 1999 - 2000 with the aim of demonstrating how this period of work had particular relevance to young people. Within the study I will also investigate and explain some of my own personal working methods with artists when creating a theatre

    In the late 1980s the Arts Council of Wales (ACW) in partnership with the (then) South Glamorgan County Council (SGCC), the two main funders of the theatre, and the theatre's Board of Trustees employed Adrian Trickey, an independent arts consultant to prepare and present a feasibility study that investigated the possibility of the Sherman Theatre refocusing its policy and becoming a Young People's Theatre for Cardiff with an all
    Wales remit. His findings and proposals were positive and his
    recommendations accepted. I was appointed in 1990 to spearhead the development and translate the theoretical recommendations into positive practice.

    In 1999 I, in partnership with the senior management of the Sherman, recognised that the current funding levels of the theatre were far too low to sustain its artistic programme and the capital infrastructure of the building. We employed Peter Boyden, an independent arts consultant to work with us and advise the team in preparing a document for the Sherman's Board of Trustees, the ACW and Cardiff County Council (current funders) that clearly stated that the status quo operation at that time was not an option for sustainability of the Sherman Theatre.

    This overview records and examines the years between the Trickey and Boyden reports (1990 - 2000).

    This is a portfolio submission to the University of Glamorgan. The
    physical portfolio that accompanies this paper includes examples of artistic and administrative policy developments and practice.

    This submission is therefore a personal investigation and records the creation, development and sustainability of a Young People's Theatre and Emerging Artists Strategy within a regional theatre (Sherman Theatre) 1990 - 2000, and how it practically applied to a generation arising of young people and emerging artists.
    Date of AwardMar 2007
    Original languageEnglish


    • Theatre
    • Wales

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