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Tartu Student Theatre as a subculture - SHORT OVERVIEW
kaijamaarit wrote in subculture2010

Tartu Student Theatre doesn’t classify as something usually understood as subculture. That means, the members don’t have conjoining music or clothing style. On the contrary, the tastes in these areas are quite different. Still the members of TÜT have a strong bond with each other and they have certain similarities. We have brought out five of the most important aspects which characterize the members of TÜT as a subculture:

1. Rituals – ritual events of TÜT can be divided into four groups (if we don’t include weekly rehearsals, training and acting out plays, which are the most common and routine reasons of meeting for the active members): trials for new members, the parties, summer school and winter camp, international festivals.

2. Language – TÜT members do have a very significant slang. It can mostly be divided into three parts – phrases from performances integrated into everyday life; phrases of making jokes about themselves or imitating the others (especially director Kalev Kudu, but the actors as well); random phrases arising from a lot of time spent together (especially during festivals or intensive rehearsal-period). The members of TÜT only use these expressions when communicating with each other, so the belonging to a group is confirmed by common language. This sets a barrier for others outside the group. Also, in addition to this joke-like and allusional argot TÜT members have a number of words that most of the other people don't use daily – these are theatre-specifical words. They are mostly not unknown to other Estonian language users, but their usage is much more intense and varied among theatre members (they are not used only in their usual context).

3. Idols – most of the members don’t claim to have an idol. The central figure of TÜT – the director Kalev Kudu can be considered as an idol, but not in a typical way. He’s a very conflictive person and the members often make fun of him, but he is still respected for keeping TÜT together. The face of TÜT is very much influenced by him, mostly because he is responsible for TÜT view on theatre, accepting new members etc. It is also said ammong TÜT members that in a few years working with Kalev all the male members tend to become more and more like the director in their mode of behaviour, so the influence is very important.

4. Places - TÜT has no owned premises. For its rehearsals and performances the rooms are rented, and they are always located in different parts of Tartu. So, the main time spent together – rehearsals, performances, and socializing after them – isn’t really located in a specific space. Different rooms have been important in different times, so now the members consider the best room to be “where the friends are”. Having no certain rooms causes instability on the creative aspect, but it doesn’t seem to bother the members as long as they routinely meet and have their traditional events.

5. Values - People of TÜT are located certainly somewhere away from the mainstream culture and can more easily be said to be alternative. They don’t value consumerism – that can be derived from the answers concerning clothing, music. They admire sincerity, intelligence, good humor. The most important aspect is diversity – they admire it on others and they want themselves to be as diverse as possible. They are very goal-oriented and keen on developing themselves. Their goals aren’t usually material.


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