The Playgoer: Quote of the Day

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Of course, the idea of audiences choosing is an illusion in any case. Just as everything about certain high street shops is designed to discourage middle-aged frumps such as myself from darkening their doors, so theatre-makers constantly send out messages about their work that will encourage particular audiences to book. When the Fierce festival chose 'Live Art. Collision. Hyperlocal. Supernow' as their banner, it's clear that its intended audience is probably not the Les Mis crowd. Theatre is constantly pre-selecting its pool of potential audience members on the basis of context, timing of performances and venue. We have all experienced performances that mean different things in different contexts.... [O]ther kinds of performance require a particular audience to reach their full potential. That may be particularly true with relational art (check out this brilliant YouTube clip) when the boundaries between artist and audience have dissolved and the audience is a participant, and in some cases a collaborator. It leads El Khoury to wonder, in a thoughtful blogpost born from her experience of creating such performances, 'whether some shows just don't work for specific audiences.' She adds: 'At the end, if it's really a relationship, it needs to work for me too, not only for them.' In which case, perhaps choosing your audience makes complete sense."

-Lyn Gardner, Guardian

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