The Arts Council-funded project will be analysed by Dr Ben Walmsley and Leila Jancovich through in-depth interviews with staff and external stakeholders on their feelings around the change and their changing perceptions of the theatre of the theatre as the Playhouse shapes its new artistic plans and business model.
Leila, a Senior Lecturer in Events Marketing at the UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds Metropolitan, commented: "This is an exciting chance to build on Leeds Metropolitan's partnership with West Yorkshire Playhouse who already provide great opportunities for our students. This research will provide a useful case study on organisational change with the arts for our teaching and it will allow us to further develop our connection with the Playhouse."
General Director and Joint Chief Executive of the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Sheena Wrigley, added: "We are looking forward to working with the research team at Leeds Metropolitan University over the next 15 months. They have a real understanding of the significance of this programme of work for both Leeds and the wider arts sector, making them perfectly placed to evaluate the theatre's learning and development during this key period of change."
By observing consultations and gathering perspectives of all involved in the process, including staff, West Yorkshire Playhouse's board, external artists, Leeds City Council and Arts Council England, the researchers will compile a 'story book' to document the process and to support the theatre's aim of 'opening up and opening out', improving their communication with each other and the outside world.
The story book, with images, key data, quotes and evaluation, will be completed in July 2013.