Liveness & Audiences: An investigation into audience’s relationship to and understanding of live performance experience and culture

Linley, Olivia Mai ORCID: 0009-0000-4217-2140 (2023). Liveness & Audiences: An investigation into audience’s relationship to and understanding of live performance experience and culture. University of Birmingham. M.A.

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This article outlines the multitude of ways in which audiences relate to and value the presence of ‘liveness’ in performance work. The writing considers a variety of different performance genres, including those designed specifically to cater to enhancing the live moment, and focuses in on the incorporation of music performance within theatrical settings. The article highlights the opposing identities adopted by audiences, as a collective body and also as individuals, and how they may interact with the performance in terms of recollection, preservation of the live moment, and the potential for performances to create a larger political or social phenomenon. The definition and essence of liveness in dramaturgy is explored, with contributions from foundational scholarly perspectives such as the likes of Auslander, Phelan and Sedgman. This is an ethnographical study, which centres around qualitative research taken from interviews and surveys during an organised live music/theatre performance event. With performance culture beginning to consider the importance of liveness and physical presence more than ever before, as we recover from pandemic restrictions and as innovation into experiential theatre continues, this research is a starting-point for some of the questions surrounding audience relations. This thesis encourages for dramaturgs to engage with their audiences in the process of making work, as well as upon reflection post-performance, and to consider all of the factors which contribute to spectatorship.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.A.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.A.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of Drama and Theatre Arts
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general


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