I am a third year PhD candidate in Theatre Studies and a returning Warwick graduate of B.Ed. (Hons) TESOL. Between the years, I have taught at MARA institutions, pursued a part-time MA in English Literature at University of Malaya and lectured on Theory of Knowledge. Prior to starting the PhD programme, I was actively involved in language and drama-based projects for children and youth. I am currently funded by the Malaysian Government’s Council for People’s Trust (MARA) under their Top Executive Programme.
My doctoral research looks into the experience of theatre with online mediated crowdfunding platforms, amidst the current arts funding climate. I am interested in how theatre makers perceive and use online crowdfunding in their project campaigns, the effects it has on their practice and how this invites rethinking of their companies’ sustainability. My inquiry centres on the changes that theatre makers face when dealing with private (micro) funding instead of institutional funding, and how the pluralistic patronage of crowdfunding might lend itself to issues of co-production and co-creation.
My study takes me to explore the reciprocity within the social network of artists, their artistic circle and business acquaintances, family members as well as the occasional anonymous or unknown supporters in their crowdfunding campaigns. By looking at the different stages of experience in the industry, I intend to see how theatre companies exhibit different degrees of dependency on this funding mode and the various functions it serves.
My topic draws on a number of theories from across the disciplines of economics, anthropology, cultural policy and theatre studies. Emerging research themes include motivation, reciprocity, suitability of crowdfunding and its relation to theatre practice and the wider theatre ecology. My data comes from in-depth interviews and mini case studies, aside from document analysis.
I am being co-supervised by Dr. Chris Bilton from the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies, and Dr. Tim White from Theatre and Performance Studies.