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Attracting the “Sojourner”: Insights into Cross-cultural Arts Marketing Through A Case Study of Chinese Theatre in the UK

Wu, Fan (2018) Attracting the “Sojourner”: Insights into Cross-cultural Arts Marketing Through A Case Study of Chinese Theatre in the UK. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates Chinese theatre in the UK as a case study to address a significant gap in the academic literature regarding strategic cross-cultural arts marketing. Specifically, by understanding the audiences of Chinese theatre in the UK and critically investigating the current marketing strategies of theatre production companies, the thesis explores the following questions: 1) Who constitutes the audience for Chinese theatre in the UK? 2) What motivates their attendance? 3) How do they articulate their experiences of Chinese theatre? 4) What are their post-performance intentions? Reflecting the thesis’s overarching method of action research, the researcher immersed herself in three Chinese theatre productions staged in the UK in 2015, each with a different marketing context. The findings reveal significant areas of divergence between marketers and audience members on the questions highlighted above, such as the idea that the “foreignness” of the Chinese theatre turns out to be the strongest motivation for attendance instead of an obstacle to attendance. In summary, the thesis argues that there is a strong potential market for cross-cultural theatre in the UK and illustrates that core target audiences can be usefully characterized as intercultural tourists, general theatre-goers, new experience seekers, or adventurers. The concept of the sojourner, meaning a temporary resident in a foreign culture, is introduced from intercultural tourism, and applied to audiences in this cross-cultural context. The thesis recommends a collaborative strategy among key stakeholders in audience development in order to strategically market Chinese theatre, in the UK, in the long-term. The thesis therefore makes a significant contribution to the scarce academic literature on cross-cultural marketing in the arts, and therefore represents a conceptual shift in theory and practice related to the discipline of arts marketing and the wider fields of arts management and cultural policy. Among the wider sociological benefits of a more strategic approach to cross-cultural marketing in the arts is that it challenges cultural stereotypes and re-balances cross-cultural exchange between the East and the West, in the longer term.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: theatre audience study; arts marketing; cross-cultural; collaboration
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > Performance and Cultural Industries (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.745598
Depositing User: Miss Fan Wu
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2018 09:38
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 13:22
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20723

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