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Total Theatre Magazine’s Archive Project Heritage Lottery Fund grant success: the full 25 years of Total Theatre Magazine in print to be preserved, digitised, and made available for free online

Total Theatre Magazine is delighted to announce that we have been awarded a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund through their Our Heritage funding programme which will be used to create a valuable new online resource.

Every single print issue of the magazine – which was published for 25 years between 1988 to 2012 – will be digitised and made available online on a brand new website.

For over 30 years, Total Theatre Magazine (now online) has been at the forefront of the advocacy, celebration and documentation of contemporary theatre and performance – including the support of forms such as circus, street theatre, site-responsive performance, puppetry, and visual theatre, which have often been ignored, or not treated with the seriousness they merit, by other publications. The print magazine encompassed 100 issues over 25 years. Thanks to National Lottery players, this archive will be preserved for everyone to engage with, all content provided free to view. The new Total Theatre Archive website is to be launched early in 2019.

Editor Dorothy Max Prior and Web Editor John Ellingsworth will be working with members of the magazine’s editorial team and volunteers to scan, upload and tag content, creating a fully searchable website that will be a valuable resource for scholars, journalists, artists, students, and anybody interested in Britain’s alternative theatre and performance history. Once the website is built, Total Theatre Magazine will be working with writers, editors, and leading arts professionals to create new content that will reflect upon and interact with the archive; and collaborating with our partners to create a programme of activities and learning opportunities using the new archive.

Total Theatre Magazine has also received financial support from a number of leading institutions and organisations, including Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance, Royal Conservatoire Scotland, and The Attenborough Centre of Creative Arts at University of Sussex.

The theatre and arts industry of Britain (and across the world) has been galvanised into expressing support for the digitising of the Total Theatre Magazine archive: artists, directors, producers, festival directors, critics, and professors and lecturers from leading drama schools across the country have all endorsed the need for Total Theatre Magazine to be digitised and made accessible.

Lyn Gardner (lead theatre critic, The Guardian / contributing editor The Stage) says:

‘Total Theatre Magazine has been a pioneer in terms of documenting theatre which has often been neglected by mainstream criticism. It has been a significant player in changing the culture of British theatre.’

Editor Dorothy Max Prior, who has worked for Total Theatre Magazine for more than two decades, says:

‘I’m grateful to Heritage Lottery Fund and our supporters for this opportunity, and delighted to be starting work on the Total Theatre Archive. I’m particularly excited at the prospect of re-engaging with all the wonderful material that we’ve published over the years, and finding interesting new ways to interact with the archive content.’

About the Heritage Lottery Fund:

Thanks to National Lottery players, Heritage Lottery Fund invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love; from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. See www.hlf.org.uk 

A note on the Total Theatre Awards:

Total Theatre Magazine operates in collaboration with, but financially independent of, the Total Theatre Awards at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which are produced by the organisation Total Theatre Network. For more about the Total Theatre Awards 2018, see www.totaltheatrenetwork.org


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