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Audience Participation in Theatre


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction 1. Audience Participation 2. Why 'Aesthetics'? 3. The Practice and Theory of Audience Participation 4. Emancipating Spectators 5. Subjectivity as Material and Medium 6. The Structure of the Book PART I: PROCESS AND PROCEDURE 7. Antony Jackson and Frame Analysis 8. Goffman's Frame Analysis 9. The Frame Analysis of Audience Participation 10. Roles and Resources 11. Working Inside the Frame 12. Control and Social Structure 13. Horizons of Participation 14. The Aesthetic Meaning of Agency 15. Armadillo Theatre 16. Analysing Armadillo's Procedure PART II: RISK AND RATIONAL ACTION 17. Risk in Performance 18. Real and Perceived Risk 19. Actual Risk in Audience Participation 20. Horizons of Risk 21. Risk Management as Procedural Authorship 22. Ethical Issues in the Management of Real and Perceived Risk 23. Protecting Participants into Involvement 24. Reading the Audience Participant 25. Performativity and the Public Self 26. Know One's Fool PART III: IRRATIONAL INTERACTIONS 27. Emotion in Audience Participation 28. Embodied Cognition and the Enactive Theory of Mind 29. Empathy and Intersubjectivity in Audience Participation 30. Laughter 31. Crowds 32. Liminality and Communitas 33. Hypnosis 34. Procedural Authorship and Harnessing Intersubjectivity 35. De La Guarda's Liminoid Participation 36. Embodiment, Enculturation and Meaning PART IV: ACCEPTING THE INVITATION 37. Theatre Audiences and Feedback Loops 38. A New Horizon 39. Weather on the Horizon 40. Gaining Roles and Responsibilities 41. Experiential Learning 42. Reflexivity and Witnessing 43. Self-Awareness and Self-Forgetfulness 44. Autopoiesis, Allopoiesis, Heteropoiesis 45. Tim Crouch: The Author and I, Malvolio Conclusion 46. The Procedural Author 47. The Aesthetic Theory 48. Making Special 49. Patterning and Elaborating Participation 50. The Aesthetic Regime

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About the Author

Gareth White is a Lecturer in Applied Theatre and Community Performance at the Central School of Speech and Drama, UK.


"The strength of the book lies in its focus on the invitation to participate, rather than participation per se. White's analysis explores the impact of participation on the audience and examines the audience's place in the aesthetic of participatory work. By bringing the processes and media of audience participation into focus and looking to relevant theories that help unpack and explain the procedures through which practitioners establish these participatory approaches, this book is useful as a practical 'how-to' for those exploring this practice for themselves. By focusing on the activity that makes an invitation understood by an audience and the process through which they accept (or decline) that invitation, the book widens its scope and becomes a useful addition to the more general area of performance analysis. This book addresses the complexities of participation in contemporary performance, including arguments around embodied interpretation and the varied political intentions and consequences of such practice. It will be of great interest to those working within the field of Applied Theatre as well as appealing to more general scholarly interest in Theatre and Performance Studies." - Josephine Machon, Middlesex University, UK

'Gareth White's Audience Participation in Theatre proposes a much-needed theory of the invitation to participate in theatre... [It] is an ambitious book given its scope, shuttling across a range of forums for audience participation, as well as a diverse selection of scholarly disciplines and fields. But the ambition pays off. Invitations to participate are treated as a tightly defined crux around which a broadly defined field of participatory theatre revolves. This crux is elucidated through the deployment of multiple analytical perspectives, each with their own useful vocabulary and modes of thinking, leaving the reader with a wealth of ideas to work with and apply to aesthetic examinations of audience participation. What emerges is a book that borrows broadly, but appropriately, in setting forward a series of sound theoretical propositions about audience participation at a time when precision on this particular front cries out for attention.' - Adam Alston, Contemporary Theatre Review

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