By nature, audiences are social units. In general people enjoy the company of others; and even though at times we like to be alone, most of the time we like to be around other people. The social interaction among audiences is highly influenced by the size of the audience and by the sitting arrangment for such audience.
When it comes to theater audiences, the size of the audience very much depends on the type of theatre. Some theaters hold as little as 30 people while others can hold up to 10,000 people. Needless to say the interaction between the groups is very diffe- rent among 30 people vs. 10,000 people.
When attending a theatre performance, audiences come to an unspoken agreement to respond in safe- ty to whatever transpires on stage. This means that a theatre audience becomes an "interactive audience" by laughing, clapping, crying, reacting, and responding according to the situation.
And because audiences are social units, audience members interact with each other and with the actors on stage. This inreaction is unique because every performers differs, audience differs, and every member of the audience differs. In short, no performance will be exactly the same because audiences are different and audiences influenced the performers.
A theatre audience approves and dissaproves a performance. Audiences clap, cheer, stand up or don't clap, leave, boo, and even protest if they don't like what transpires on stage. And because audiences understand and identify with what happens on stage, a theatre audience becomes a mirror of culture.
Since a theatrea audience becomes a mirror of culture, then theatre must represent the audiences culture and its diversity in order to directly connect with all individuals. With this in mind, a theatre audience has a very important role in relation to theatre:
A THEATRE AUDIENCE:
1. Helps in the understanding of theatre as art. 2. Helps in the expression of theatre as culture. 3. Helps in the development of theatre as business.
In the world of theatre there are two types of people who, professionally speaking, comment on theatre performances.
These two people are known as the theatre reviewer and the theatre critic. Theatre Reviewers are people who see plays and then write about them for newspapers, magazines,television, radio and/or the Web.
Theatre Reviewers have ONE goal: To protect theatre audiences by presenting themselves as the “ideal audience member,”recommending or warning against a theatre production.
A Theatre Critic, on the other hand, is a person who examines a play or group of plays, usually by applying theory, discussing a play from a socio-economical and cultural angle, as well as from an artistic, literary, and historical angle.
Within the realm of theatre criticism there are TWO types of criticism: Dramatic Criticism, which deals with analyzing the written word, in other words the play scripts. AND Performance Criticism, which deals with analyzing the production of a play and how its artistic form represents the script itself.
Criticism unfolds in university settings and academic publications, mostly affecting scholars and students. Things to Remember: -The influence of social interaction. -Interactive Audiences. -Mirror of Culture. -Role of the audience. -Theatre Reviewer and goal of the reviewer. -Theatre Critic. -Types of criticism and their definitions.
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