Who goes to the theatre and why? What goes on in our heads (and hearts) when we get there? How do we relate what we see to our lives and the world around us? What do we remember later? What happens when we're asked to join in?
This is an invitation to attend a conference to discuss these matters, to be held in London on Saturday 31 May. The conference is the culmination of a research project into how theatre spectators at three major British theatres think and feel about what they see, and what they retain of the experience over time. The conference will include a report-back on this research, as well as panel discussions on what else we know about audiences (in theatre and beyond), how we assess cultural value, and the current trend to challenge the traditional barriers between performers and spectators in the theatre.
Speakers include Helen Freshwater, author of Theatre & Audience, and Liz Tomlin, co-founder of Point Blank and author of Acts and Apparitions: Discourses on the Real in Performance. Panelists include ATC's Artistic Director Ramin Gray; writer and performer Deborah Pearson (of Forest Fringe); the National Theatre's Head of Audience Strategy, Rishi Coupland; Matthew Reason, author of The Young Audience; and Eleonora Belfiore, of the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value. The conference is organised by a group of academics and playwrights (David Edgar, Chris Megson, Dan Rebellato, Janelle Reinelt, Julie Wilkinson and Jane Woddis) who mount conferences and seminars and undertake research. Both the research project and the conference are financed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, as part of its project on Cultural Value.
The Roar of the Crowd takes place at the University of London, Malet St, between 10.15am and 5.45pm on Saturday 31 May. There is no conference charge, and - contrary to economic orthodoxy - there is a free lunch. To book, please go to the link below. We will send full details of the location, programme and line-up of the conference to people who have booked, nearer the time.
When & Where
British Theatre Consortium
The British Theatre Consortium is a forum in which theatremakers, administrators, students and academics can come together to share views on all issues concerning contemporary theatre and performance in Britain.