Theatre and Social Responsibility


Theatre and Social Responsibility


Social responsibility usually makes one think of corporations and businesses. However, if social responsibility is defined as an ethical framework and ideological notion “that organizations should not behave unethically or function amorally, and should aim (instead) to deliberately contribute to the welfare of society or societies” (Planken: 2013), application of the term becomes much broader. This issue of Nordic Theatre Studies aims to investigate ways and means of making theatre in a socially responsible manner. How do ethical, legal, economic and philanthropic elements of social responsibility function in theatre? How do theatres employ aesthetic strategies and values in order to reach out to a caring social responsibility? Should the ethical stance of theatre (institution, artist, production, audience) be questioned? How does the regulatory framework of the field of theatre contribute toward creating greater good for society? Is it possible to measure its sustainability? What role does financial security play (especially in the case of publicly funded performance) in theatre’s ability to address social issues and the needs of society? How do audiences approach their own position with regard to social responsibility in their engagement with performance? Finally, when and how does theatre fulfil its part of the social contract?

We welcome articles that examine social responsibility in theatre from various aspects and angles. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

core values of theatre, as manifested in contemporary developments or historical perspective;

the individual theatre maker’s social responsibility towards performance, social institutions and political regulations;

different models of social responsibility of theatre institutions, their historical development and socio-cultural conditions;

(re)definition of ethics in contemporary theatre, in its making and producing;

differences in legal frameworks regulating openness, fairness and accessibility of theatre in the Nordic and Baltic countries;

issues of copyrights and authorship in theatre;

theatre institutions' corporate social responsibility;

responsible and ethical training of theatre makers;

precariousness of theatre institutions, makers, audiences;

institutions and practices that take responsibility for ethnic and social diversity and cultural sustainability;

theatre and wellness.


In addition to these topics, we welcome papers for the open section, which are not required to follow the general theme of the issue. Suggestions for book reviews are also welcome. We especially encourage contributions from the theatre makers in the form of interviews, an essay or a statement, or a manifesto. Specialising in Nordic and Baltic theatre research, Nordic Theatre Studies prioritizes articles that relate to some aspect of Nordic or Baltic theatre and performance, or that have been written by a scholar resident in a Nordic or Baltic country.


Abstracts (200 to 300 words) and a short biography (50-100 words) should be emailed to is by December 1st 2021.


Schedule for contributing:


Deadline for the submission of article proposals (abstracts): December 1st, 2021

Notification of acceptance: by January 1st, 2022

Submission of full article: March 31st, 2022

Deadline for revised articles – July 1st, 2022

Please find the NTS style guidelines at