Theatre as performance space has to satisfy important requirements to address the needs of users. It has a central role in society, linking different user groups in promoting culture as a popular experience. As a space, theatre presents significant challenges due to factors such as the variety in type and size, the ways the spaces are used, and the user groups. The assessment of cultural space is of major significance in the context of Valletta Capital of Culture, linking in to the key principle of a legacy in the longer term. The Capital of Culture presents an ideal opportunity to examine theatres across Malta and Gozo as focal cultural spaces. This research presents a first initiative in Malta toward a structured method for the assessment of theatre as a cultural space with a view to defining its needs and those of its users. The objective is to develop a new integrated quality assessment method, which addresses different attributes of the theatre as a space used for cultural activities, in a structured manner with the aim of recording a comprehensive profile of the space. The appraisal allows for the development of rehabilitation strategies, where the methodology serves as a useful tool for the prioritisation of interventions. The first assessment was conducted on eight theatres in Valletta and the Grand Harbour Region, and Victoria Gozo. It includes five public theatres, two community theatres and one which belongs to the University of Malta. This quality assessment addresses pressing technical issues, social and cultural aspects, management and financial constraints but also the wider needs of the space, all of which contribute to its quality. The methodology provides the framework for a tool which can evolve and adapt to the wider context of all theatres in the Maltese Islands, with the aim of establishing a framework for continued assessment to define priorities for refurbishment and upgrading of cultural spaces.


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pp. 77-96
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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