ERIC Number: ED234447
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug-9
Reference Count: 0
Background and Foreground: Audience Education from Theory to Practice.
Just as all perceptions are of figures differentiated from a larger background, a play takes place against the background of the audience's knowledge and feelings. While audience members generally bring to a performance a large body of background information--they evaluate the storyline, for example, using a lifetime of personal experience--at times they need to have this background knowledge enriched in order to fully appreciate a work. Sometimes, for example, the world of the play is unfamiliar--either because the play was written for a society that no longer exists, as is the case in Sophocles's "Antigone," or because, as in many contemporary works, playwright and audience no longer share similar values or worldviews. Audience members can participate more fully in the world of the play, however, if they are given background material on the play's storyline. They can learn to evaluate the play as a play and to appreciate the constraints imposed on it by the script, performance space, available time, and the audience itself through additional education activities such as backstage tours, discussions of performance history, talks by artistic and technical staff, and postperformance discussions. Such activities not only enrich the immediate performance but also add to the background knowledge the playgoer can take to the next play. (MM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Community; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Education; Audience Response
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Theatre Association (Minneapolis, MN, August 7-10, 1983).