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'Amateur dramatic societies have existed in Australian country towns since the 1850s, making a valuable contribution to the social and cultural life of the communities they serve. Two of their most important functions are to provide live theatre where there would otherwise be none and to create opportunities for ordinary people to be involved in the many aspects of theatre. However, their collective significance has not been fully recognised, possibly because the difficulties of accessing primary sources scattered over vast distances are considerable. In this article, I show how it has been possible to create a framework for research into amateur dramatic societies in New South Wales regional communities between 1945 and 1970 by referring to the archive of the British Drama League, a semi-voluntary organisation established in Sydney in 1937 that acted as a coordinating body for amateur theatre until its demise in 1976. The League has faded into obscurity, but its remnants tell us a great deal about amateur theatre locally, nationally and internationally during the period of its existence.' (Author's introduction)

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Last amended 11 Nov 2013 15:17:57
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