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Theatre Appreciation Chapter 2: Performance, Audience & Critic The Audience The Audience completes the creative process Key concepts: Perception Interpretation Intention Key Concepts Perception : the audience’s experience of the performance

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Theatre Appreciation

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Theatre Appreciation

Chapter 2:

Performance, Audience & Critic


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The Audience

The Audience completes the creative process

Key concepts:

  • Perception

  • Interpretation

  • Intention


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Key Concepts

Perception: the audience’s experience of the performance

Interpretation: how the audience derives meaning from the performance

Intention: what the artists (director, playwright, etc.) try to communicate to the audience through the performance


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Relationship Between Intention & Interpretation

Intention = Interpretation

Intention = Interpretation

The audience’s interpretation may or may not match the artists’ intentions.


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Watching a Performance

Theatrical Performance versus Film

Theatre and Film differ in numerous ways, including how the audience experiences these two types of performance.

Activity:

Take the following Quiz to test your knowledge of the movie-going experience.

Then, we’ll compare the experience of attending a film to the experience of attending a theatrical performance.


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Watching a Performance

Movie Quiz

  • Going to the movies is which type of occasion?

    • Formal / Special

    • Informal / Regular

  • 2)When do you usually purchase movie tickets?

    • Just before the movie starts

    • Several days in advance

  • How is seating determined in the movie theatre?

  • A)Your ticket shows your seat number

    • B)You can sit wherever you want


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Watching a Performance

Movie Quiz

  • 4)When does the audience receive information about all of the artists who worked on the movie?

    • Before the show, in a printed program

    • While some of the artists are listed at the start of the movie, only after the show, when the final credits roll, are all the names listed

  • 5)The scenery or environment of the film is viewable to the audience while waiting for the film to start.

    • True

    • False


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Watching a Performance

Movie Quiz

  • 6)The scenery or environment of a film is typically abstract and unrealistic.

    • True

    • False

  • 7)How many intermissions do most movies have?

    • None

    • One or more


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Watching a Performance

Movie Quiz

  • 8)How would you describe the audience’s focus during a movie?

    • Determined by the filmmaker’s shots and editing; the camera dictates what the audience sees

    • Determined by the audience member, who can choose where to look


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Watching a Performance

Movie Quiz

  • Going to the movies is which type of occasion?

    • Formal / Special

    • Informal / Regular

  • 2)When do you usually purchase movie tickets?

    • Just before the movie starts

    • Several days in advance

  • How is seating determined in the movie theatre?

  • A)Your ticket shows your seat number

    • B)You can sit wherever you want


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Watching a Performance

Movie Quiz

  • 4)When does the audience receive information about all of the artists who worked on the movie?

    • Before the show, in a printed program

    • While some of the artists are listed at the start of the movie, only after the show, when the final credits roll, are all the names listed

  • 5)The scenery or environment of the film is viewable to the audience while waiting for the film to start.

    • True

    • False


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Watching a Performance

Movie Quiz

  • 6)The scenery or environment of a film is typically abstract and unrealistic.

    • True

    • False

  • 7)How many intermissions do most movies have?

    • None

    • One or more


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Watching a Performance

Movie Quiz

  • 8)How would you describe the audience’s focus during a movie?

    • Determined by the filmmaker’s shots and editing; the camera dictates what the audience sees

    • Determined by the audience member, who can choose where to look


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Watching a Performance

Movie Quiz Results

1) B

2) A

3) B

4) B

5) B

6) B

7) A

8) A


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Watching a Performance

Theatrical Performance

  • Occasion

    • Generally, Theatre is considered more of a formal or special occasion than film.

  • Tickets

    • Generally, reservations must be made well in advance.

  • Seating

    • Seating is often reserved, with your assigned seat number appearing on your ticket.


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Watching a Performance

Theatrical Performance

  • Credits

    • Credits and other information about the production are available on a printed program, which is given to the audience as they enter the theatre.

  • Setting/Scenery

    • Depending upon the type of performance space and the particular production, the setting or scenery is often fully viewable before the start of the performance.

    • Additionally, scenery may or may not be realistic, and the use of minimal scenery that suggests location is a common convention of theatrical performance.


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Watching a Performance

Theatrical Performance

  • Intermissions

    • Theatrical performances frequently include one or more intermissions, during which scenery or costumes may be changed. At intermission, the audience is free to leave the theatre space briefly.

  • Focus

    • Unlike film, where the audience’s focus is directed by the camera, theatrical performance enables each audience member to choose where to look and for how long. Theatrical artists do employ techniques to guide the audience’s focus, but ultimately, each audience member chooses what and how to watch.


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Watching a Performance

Theatrical Performance versus Film

Quality

Theatre

Film

Occasion

Special / Formal

Regular / Informal

Tickets

Reserve in Advance

Purchase Just Before

Seating

Reserved / Specified

Open Seating

Credits

In Program, Before

Credits Roll, After

Setting

Often Viewable Prior

Hidden Prior

Scenery

May not be Realistic

Usually Realistic

Intermissions

Yes

No

Audience Focus

Viewer’s choice

Determined by Camera


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Who is the Audience?

  • Audiences vary significantly in several ways:

    • Aesthetic Tastes

    • Education

    • Economic Status

    • Race

    • Age

    • Culture

    • Community


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Influence of Audiences on Theatrical Production

  • The choice of what is performed

  • The style in which the production is performed

  • The way in which the production is marketed

  • The duration of the run; how many performances are given


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What do YOU think?

  • What are some reasons why Producers and Theatres should consider the intended Audience when selecting and offering Theatrical Performances?

  • What might happen if such consideration is NOT given?

  • Suppose a particular Theatre’s main audience is composed of White, well-to-do middle class patrons. What are some of the issues that might arise if this Theatre tries to attract new audiences, such as Hispanics or Gays and Lesbians?


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Influence of Audiences on Theatrical Production

Ongoing Questions for Theatres:

How many audiences do we wish to attract/serve?

How can we meet the differing interests of these multiple audiences?

Theatre cannot exist without audiences.

Sensitivity to varying audience tastes and interests is essential to achieving a diversified theatre.


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The Audience and Critical Perspective

Performance & Judgment

  • 3-Step Process for Evaluating the Theatrical Experience:

  • One experiences the performance

  • One analyzes the performance

  • One communicates a response to the performance

This process reveals information about our personal tastes or aesthetics, by illuminating our thoughts and feelings.


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The Critic

Criticism = the act of making judgments

What is the role or function of the Critic?


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The Basic Problems of Criticism

The 3 Basic Concerns of the Critic:

1.Understanding: What were the artists trying to do?

2.Effectiveness: How well did they do it?

3.Ultimate Worth: How valuable was the experience?

How is the audience considered when writing a review?


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Key Qualities of the Critic

  • To be sensitive to feelings, images and ideas

  • To become as well acquainted as possible with the theatre of all periods and of all types

  • To be willing to explore plays and production processes

  • To be tolerant of innovation

  • To be aware of his/her own prejudices and values

  • To be articulate and clear in expressing judgments and their bases

  • To be courteous


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