From spect-actor to corporate player
Reconfigurations of twenty-first-century audiences
in Acts and apparitions
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This chapter examines the different ways in which certain recurring models are seeking to enable the spectator to co-author the event to offer an experiential real in place of the representations formerly contained in the conventional theatrical framework. The spectator becomes an active participant in the performance text by co-authoring the event. In Theatre Audiences, Susan Bennett traces the history of the modern audience, defining the wide-ranging developments that occurred between the seventeenth and the mid-nineteenth centuries as 'a steady progression' towards the separation of fictional stage world and audience. Nicolas Bourriaud's discourse on relational aesthetics is one of the most influential theoretical studies of audience participation in the arts at the turn of the twenty-first century. The chapter argues that the importance of co-authorship might still be read through which participants are expected to model and restructure new and politically resistant subjectivities in the face of global capitalism.

Acts and apparitions

Discourses on the real in performance practice and theory, 1990–2010


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