Task 2 – Research relating to the purpose of performance and engaging audiences

  • Entertainment and/ or education

Stories can be entertaining but many hold a hidden lesson in them like “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Three Little Pigs”. I chose these two as an example because they are well known because in many schools and nurseries these books are introduced to kids and the moral of the stories are not hidden as much as other stories, for example the lesson behind “Little Red Riding Hood” is don’t talk to strangers while the story behind “Three Little Pigs” is that hard work and patience is what gets you to the good places in life. These stories are designed for children so they are designed to entertain and educate them in a simple way. What these two stories also have in common is that they use anthropomorphism to explain to children certain characteristics, such as the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Three little pigs” is sneaky.

  • Understanding the role and requirements of the performers / writers / collaborators / choreographer(s) / musical director(s) / director(s)

During industry week we were told to pair up job titles and what they did in theatre.


This gave me a clearer view about what goes on in the theatre. I didn’t realize there were so many jobs in theatre so if I go into acting then I wish to stop but I want to stay in theatre there isn’t a shortage of jobs for me to choose from. If I ever wanted to stop working in theatre then I would probably become a director or a writer. I have always had a passion for stories and writing them and the idea that I can write something then have people make the story come to life is incredible but also when ever I read a story I like to picture how I would make it come to life.

  • The audience “contract” (ticket buyers/ “captive” audiences/ passers-by; levels of culture awareness)

When the audience pays for a ticket they wish to see a show and there will be more advertising which means more people will attend, when you are doing street preforming then there is no contract with the actors and the audience they can leave when ever they want since they didn’t pay to see the show they arrive because of interest, again with an audience that’s for street theatre they can turn up at any time of the story and not understand what’s going on which could lose a lot of the audience. When you pay for a ticket you can sit in the theatre and not notice that time has gone by or you could keep looking at your watch and wait for it to finish and you cannot leave because it would be rude and you would be noticed too much while if you were standing in a crowd for street theatre it would be easy to slip out of a crowd.

  • Different stage configurations and the effect of each on the audience and preformers

There are different forms of the stage and all of them have a different effect on the audience.

Image result for theatre in the round diagram

Theatre in the round is most commonly used when doing street performances because it is easier for the public to see everything however they are used in many theatres as well. Theatre in the round is good to use when you want the audience to feel as if they are part of the play itself instead of being a spectator. The issue with this theatre is that you have to make sure that everyone can see you all the time which means when your preforming in the center you have to keep moving around so the entire audience can see you.

Image result for thrust stage diagram

Image result for the globe theatre

A thrust stage is again used when doing street performance but is used in many famous theatres for example the globe theatre in London. The thrust stage is again good for making the audience part of the story because they can see the actors at all angles, however it is easier to preform on a thrust stage than a theatre in the round set up because when you address the entire audience you can have your back to the back drop of the stage and not to anyone behind you.

Image result for proscenium stage diagram

Proscenium theatre is the most common used theatre and is rarely used outdoors. This stage is good for the actors because the audience is in one focus point so if the actors wish to break the fourth wall then they don’t have to go around a circle they only have to look in one place, it also gives the set designers an easier space to work with because they don’t have to think about obstructing any of the audiences view with the set. However to the audience they feel as if they are not in the play as much as they do in theatre in the round or thrust because they are being told the story not being invited into the story.


Image result for traverse stage diagram

Traverse theatre (or corridor/ cat walk stage) is rarely used for street theater but if a proper stage was set up it would work well however it could be in the way of the public. For actors this stage has two back drops you can face your back too but like the theatre in the round and the thrust stage you have the audience all around you but this time they are either side of you, to keep the production flowing so that all of the audience can see you you will have to think carefully if you were giving a powerful monologue to another actor you would have to think if the entire audience can see your reaction and the other persons reaction. For the audience I feel as if they are peering into that persons life they are not an audience they are spectators but it all depends on how the actors treat the audience.

Promenade theatre is usually done outside or in a building that has a lot of space and room to work with. When acting in promenade theatre you use a mixture of audience so you have to be aware of where the audience is standing at all times. In promenade theatre you are moving the audience from scene to scene which makes them part of the journey in the story which fully submerges them into the performance because they are spectators of the story.

Immersive theatre is very similar to promenade theatre. The audience pays for them to be part of the play and the story they are given a simple task that will not effect the actors acting very much if each person dos the task differently. There is no audience set up its only one person in the room, instead of having to act to a crowd once a day the have to act to different people the same scene over and over for a series of days, so you would have to be used to routine and not make the script sound as if t has been said over and over.

Any stage set up is completely up to the director to chose however, it depends on what works best with the story.

  • Different platforms e.g. TV, Radio, live performance, mixed media 

The difference between these four media is that on TV and radio you can be as critical as you want while watching them, also if the channel of the film makes you lose interest then you can turn the channel over or turn it off. When you are preforming for TV or radio you can’t hear other peoples criticism while they are watching or listening to your piece, the only criticism you will receive is from critics that post it to the internet or the newspaper which is very similar to a live performance, you will see criticism in the papers and on the internet however when the audience go and see a live performance they have to sit and watch the performance because leaving half way through a live performance is seen as extremely rude also the actors can see whats going on in the audience so when people leave it might put off the actors which would make the performance worse.

  • Ways of interpreting narrative

Different age groups can react in different ways to certain scripts, sounds or actions. For example if a loud bang was made on stage for effect it may make younger audiences cry while adults will not be effected. Again with violence even with comical violence it can make young kids cry if it is not preformed in the correct way while adults may laugh, to avoid this situation the violence has to be comical without showing that the person being hurt is in much pain.

  • Examining ways other companies work to these ends

China plate is a theatre company that works with artists, venues and festivals to help them develop their acting skills and help them create interesting theatre. It is good that theatres and other companies pair up with china plate as they are well known and would draw people in because of their reputation is excellent so they will assume that the performance is going to be amazing. This is the same for the national theatre however they are sponsored by companies such as Vodafone and Tesco so they are being funded by these companies so they advertise them in return, again they are well known and if people went to go and see a show they will expect it to be good because of their high reputation.


2 thoughts on “Task 2 – Research relating to the purpose of performance and engaging audiences”

  1. You have assimilated well the class work but again check the factual details before making bold statements. Immersive theatre CAN be but isn’t ALWAYS only one member of the audience at a time; the stage configurations aren’t particular to indoor or outdoor theatre – they are simply a choice of the director/designer.
    Double check spelling & capital letters!!


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