Audience Participation: Essays on Inclusion in Performance by Susan Kattwinkel

By Susan Kattwinkel

Scholarly paintings at the influence of an lively viewers on theatrical and dance functionality is a comparatively new phenomenon, one who beforehand has manifested itself principally within the kind of scattered discussion at the topic. Audience Participation: Essays on Inclusion in Performance serves as a corrective to this. whereas the passive viewers has lengthy been said in works on reaction idea and viewers reports for its contribution to the functionality occasion, functionality types that use the viewers as an lively contributing inventive strength were appended to the reviews as simply diversifications on a theme.

This anthology brings jointly essays on direct viewers participation within the paintings of fourteen generally diverse theatrical and dance artists, overlaying functionality genres of the prior and current, well known leisure and excessive paintings. Its comprehensiveness and specialty make it a huge contribution to the literature on theater and its many kinds and facets.

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In this essay Savran focuses on a later play, Frank Dell’s The Temptation of Saint Anthony, in the context of the group’s earlier and sometimes more controversial productions. ” Interestingly, though, he concludes by reversing some of his praise for the company in Breaking the Rules. Given the range of domestic and international concerns facing American society, Savran confesses an increasing sense of feeling uncomfortable with artists and critics whose “cultural critique” is so ambiguous as to do “little else than deconstruct itself” (53).

REACTION TACTICS 17 Pen ˜ a repeatedly asked the audience for an immediate and direct response to what was happening on stage. Bold and embodied moves were taken physically as we also were bombarded with loud music and an ongoing streaming screen of images. Yet, no matter how hard Pen ˜ a and cast tried, the audience remained predominately unresponsive. I began to think of ways in which feelings could be expressed, to return to the idea of a more ancient communal experience, and away from the isolation of passive silence, a kind of post–Living Theatre, especially in the advent of technology-driven performances.

OM. . MA. OM . . MA. • Sit silently for a moment with your eyes closed. Be aware of your body—that it is relaxed and alert. Be aware of the space and people all around you. Gently open your eyes. I pause to take the audience in—which in turn makes the audience take in the moment and myself. KINESPEAK It’s all about the body, babes It’s all about the bod Repeat after me, all together (I am also asking readers to partake in speaking aloud) It’s all about the body, babes It’s all about the bod REACTION TACTICS Don’t forget this dimension Up yours, with apprehension Your mommy ain’t here To scold you for dissentin’ From synapses’ snitch To the twitches from brain To stain cellular longings These words live on my muscles Housed in my flesh The road to goad From me to you Supped-up sinew Not bothered or bored With passivity’s activity Of “let me watch in peace” Instead, you get upstarts like me Hey it’s called, ki or chi In English it’s named energy I send out some chi Now send some back to me (pause) I take in a deep breath exhale all together It’s all about the body, babes It’s all about the bod The Audience, the bawdience Has slept through these years Returned through the modernist maze, To be as passive as their gaze Politeness as standard Moneyed middle classes the asses On the new street No ribald events Hairless responses to Dusa’s laments Meyerhold broke with the mold, proposing complicity’s duplicity While making movement the key to unlock naturalism’s door 19 20 AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Artaud appealed to the senses, not pretenses To fill his stage with the militant cruelty of impolite sentiments Brecht me some delicious form of distance Empathy’s antithesis to bring us closer to social’s organs Grotowski’s gift of sifting the seas of ritual and splendor More than mere hearts beat as one when gestures gist us along The actor the living link, the food chain of performance Between the stage and those seated in front of the doors Physically arranged to socially change Ask more of your audience and we have a play to put on (all together) It’s all about the body, babes It’s all about the bod Ask any dancer, any prancer on the stage And the answer will always be the same I strut my stuff to move you in some way Beyond the seats and into your senses Or else I did not succeed Can my gestures convey what I did not say?

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