Shopping cart is empty.
Newsletter Sign-Up

Captcha Image
Stack of books

Audience Participation in Theatre (Aesthetics of the Invitation)

  • $52.95 GST included
  • In stock: 0
Title: Audience Participation in Theatre (Aesthetics of the Invitation)
Author: White, Gareth
Price: $52.95


The popularity of participatory work with audiences is greater than ever, but the invitation to participate is rarely given attention as a feature of performance, or an important element of practice in its own right. This book presents a theory of audience participation in the theatre, based on the importance of the moment of invitation and how an event changes character when such an invitation is made. The materials from which theatre performance is made expand to include the audience participant's body and social being, with the participant's prior experience and expectations, and their embodied, affective response to the performance becoming of vital importance. Attending to this expanded set of performance media allows us to begin to articulate the aesthetics of participation, and thereafter to consider the ethics and politics of participation more precisely.

This book offers a new theory of audience participation and taps into the growth of immersive (or participatory) performance and Applied Theatre. Discussing the work of companies such as Punchdrunk, Shunt and De La Guarda, this book will be of use to students and teachers of performance, theatre practitioners and anyone interested in exploring immersive performance.

Gareth White is Senior Lecturer in Applied Theatre and Community Performance at Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, UK, as well as an actor, director and facilitator. He specialises in participation and aesthetics through his teaching, practice and research.


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
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
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
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
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
46. The Procedural Author
47. The Aesthetic Theory
48. Making Special
49. Patterning and Elaborating Participation
50. The Aesthetic Regime

'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

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date: 15/08/2013
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781137354631
Publishing status: Active
Audience Participation in Theatre (Aesthetics of the Invitation)