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Adolescence invites rebellion: Investigating the aesthetics of American culture in Dutch theatre for adolescents

By Boyd M. Branch


Answering how the aesthetics of American pop culture seem to have had such an impact on Dutch theatre for adolescents, this study reviews several perspectives on the history of adolescence and the Americanization of Europe which combined to play a crucial role in forming that aesthetic. A general political history begins this thesis by first answering why theatre for youth is popularly practiced in the Netherlands and not in the U.S. This section demonstrates how political structures and economics condition the possibility of national growth in theatre practice through highlighting the relationship of Dutch social arts funding to the growth of certain kinds of theatre that have proven difficult for the commercial U.S. market to develop. Several histories of youth culture are then reviewed looking at the particular social practices in America that seem to have had a universal and simultaneous development in the Netherlands and Europe. Looking at how youth culture has developed transnationally leads up to an examination of the transnational impact on the local development of theatre art in the Netherlands, and furthermore explains how specifically American mass-cultural products have been able to play such a significant role in Dutch theatre arts

Topics: Letteren, Dutch theatre for youth, theatre and adolescence, Americanization, fragmentation
Year: 2007
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