What does it mean when theatre changes the rules? Robert Reid dives into the worlds of immersion, participation, performance and play
It’s all play and no game, all release and no control. No one can find the centre. We have lost all responsibility – to the game, to the community, to ourselves. We are not playing well at all.
Bernie DeKoven, The Well-Played Game
– How many artists does it take to change a lightbulb?
– I’m not changing anything.
A few months ago, Alison Croggon wrote a review of Mish Grigor’s The Talk in which she reflected on the growing concerns around consent in participatory and immersive performance. Grigor’s performance casts the audience as her family, reading transcripts from interviews with Grigor’s actual family, in what Croggon calls “an increasingly uncomfortable expose of other people’s sex lives”. She describes the moment in which the audience consents to play along, Grigor (“in character”) asks them explicitly to play her family, and also the following moment in which Grigor explains that her family have not consented and in fact were deceived about how the material would be used.
Grigor’s investigation, Croggon reports, was “prompted by the sobering and, in the context, shocking revelation, halfway through the show, that Grigor’s brother Will is HIV positive”. Considering this in the review, Alison writes: “there should have been a warning. There are real reasons people might need to know about what they might confront in a show, and it’s easily dealt with, even for those who don’t want to reveal spoilers: many companies indicate there is troubling content and give a contact for those who wish to discuss the specifics.”
She also reflected on a work she saw in 2017, the bondage performance Bunny by Luke George. Bunny, a participatory work that explored themes of bondage and domination that Croggon – and many others judging by the long Facebook conversation that followed (which in some part inspired the beginning of Witness itself) – found intensely disturbing. I didn’t see Bunny, but from my recollection of the discussion, selected audience members were invited onto stage by the performers and subjected to forms of bondage of varying degrees of severity. “The consent of audience members,” Croggon wrote, “hadn’t been thought through.”
Neither of these approaches to participation strikes me as being particularly ground breaking, participatory or immersive. Grigor combines a kind of call and response performance that isn’t a million miles from Brecht’s Lehrstück, with a unreliable narrator to complicate the audience’s consent to the offer she makes. (Croggon notes later in the review, “It turns out that Grigor’s family did consent to her use of that material, so Mish’s championing of the lack of consent is a fiction”). Likewise, George subjects their audience to the kind of audience participation improvisers and stand-up comedians have been fond of for decades.
This is a kind of audience participation that, in my experience anyway, has been consistently reviled. Few people genuinely enjoy the kind of participation where we join performers on stage and act the patsy. While both Bunny and The Talk found plenty of admirers and defenders and, according to Croggon, “quite a few defenders (of Bunny) said they found it ‘liberating,’” – the issue here isn’t really about individual responses to the work, positive, negative or otherwise. The issue I want to think about is how audiences and their relationships to performance are conceptualised by the artists at the outset.
‘You can’t play if you are afraid’
Though participatory performance is nothing new, its forms have tended historically to be bound by the established conventions of theatre. The relationship between the performer and most of the audience remains unchanged: the performer remains on stage and most of the audience, excluding the hapless participants, remain safely in their seats, still separate from the performance.
What has changed is the amount of participation being offered to audiences by artists (and to an extent, by marketing and promotional teams). As the line between performer and audience is gently smudged, if not erased, the intellectual and social construction of the fourth wall is proving to be more porous. Participatory and immersive performance have broadened far beyond calling out suggestions from the stalls and following a promenade performance through a found space. Croggon writes:
Because of its intimacy, participatory theatre can be a uniquely powerful form; but precisely because of that power, it seems to me that it requires a lot of thought about what audiences are consenting to be part of. The nature of public performance means that you can’t know in advance what the personal histories of your audience members are. This is why offering sufficient information beforehand to those who need it is crucial. And no, none of this is about people being wusses. It’s exactly the same issue as warnings on strobe lighting for epileptics.
While much of the immediate concern has tended to focus on issues of consent, which is unsurprising in an era when destructive norms around consent are being challenged, I believe that the problem facing participatory and immersive performances goes beyond privilege and consent. It’s a structural and procedural question around how artists approach the making of immersive work.
I wonder if some of the present confusion isn’t due to the scattergun approach to description that contemporary marketing adopts, in order to capitalise on trends and buzz words. I wonder if this is evidence of a categorical error (as in an error of categorisation) that comes with conflating immersion and participation. I can’t speak for the rest of the world but, at least in Melbourne, since Punchdrunk hit the headlines it does feel like we’ve adopted a rhetorical spasm of calling work “immersive”, when what we mean is “engaging”.
So let’s be clear. “Immersion”, according to the standard OED, is the act of dipping or submerging in a liquid, or to be deeply involved in an activity. To be immersed is to be surrounded completely or directly engaged.
A movie, for instance, can’t be immersive. It can be engrossing. It can be mesmerising. It can be spectacular. But at a very real and finite point (the screen wall), the audience is hermetically sealed off from the performance. In a purely physical sense, this is not the case in live theatre and performance. Although, at a cursory glance, theatre and cinema look like the same activity, there are crucial differences that all centre on the liveness of the event. Performers and audience are all participants in the live theatre event. All are present, all share the same environment. All are physically surrounded by the performance environment. Everyone understands what is asked of them, and their role to play in the event is clear and defined (largely) by quite rigid social convention.
So, I want to discuss the casual conflation of the terms “participatory” and “immersive” and the relatively simple solution to negotiating consent.
In 2000 I attended a performance of The Secret Room by IRAA theatre. At the time, the idea of a performance in a “secret” venue added a level of mystery and intrigue to the quotidian aspects of the performance. Calling to book tickets over the phone was the only way to learn where the performance was taking place. Only a very small number could attend at one time (I think it was seven but it might have been a few more…) We also had to declare dietary requirements, because there would be a meal as part of the event.
I remember it as a performance of two distinct halves. The performance was staged in the Carlton home of the performer (or director, I don’t remember whose.) The performer, Roberta Bosetti, met us at the door, invited us in and left us to chat awkwardly to each other before dinner. Once invited to the table, there was more awkward conversation, urged along unnaturally by our host, who asked questions to provoke conversation. I remember thinking that the questions seemed scripted, not flowing organically out of the conversation. Each of us gave our answers and waited for some kind of response while eating our pasta. As directed as this experience was, it was to me a very early sense of my own presence in the performance as participant. Forced as it felt, the first act of The Secret Room asked something of me and each of the others at the dinner table, and we offered what was asked for as best we could.
Once we moved from the dinner table to the bedroom upstairs, however, there was a seismic shift in our relationship to the event. In the bedroom were seats around the walls, dirt on the floor and a space set aside for the performer. This might be the first time I remember thinking, “and now it’s just a play.” There was no way for us to contribute any more, no way to participate other than to sit by silently and watch.
‘New relationships demand new modes of engagement. If these are not codified by the artists and communicated explicitly to the participants/players/audience, then, as a group, the performance and its audience will struggle to play well together’
Immersive and participatory performance is not the same transaction as conventional theatre. If anything, they have more in common historically with dance than theatre. In the 16th century, courtly dances and masques staged by the European aristocracy demonstrated the cultural capital of the household, a form of soft power diplomacy in the Feudal age. Attendees were drawn from the ranks of the nobility and, as a matter of course, these people had been taught the steps to common dances: the gavotte, the pavane, and so on. While the event might include feasting, dumbshows, socialising and music, the dance was almost an invariable inclusion. The Dance, and the Revels that followed, blurred the distinction between professional performers and participating members of the nobility as, particularly during the reign of Henry VIII, the aristocrats of the court would often join in.
The crucial detail here of course is that the participants, separate from the professional performers, knew the steps. Or at least, enough of them to make sense of what was being asked of them.
In the world of Live Action Role Play, or LARPing, participatory performance is the whole of the event. All participants take on a role, determine the shape of their character within the boundaries (fictional and physical) of the performance and conduct themselves accordingly, interacting with each other and generating series of performed encounters that cumulatively result in a live narrative experience.
These events are entirely performative. Sets, costumes, props and all the other physical indicators of reality are designed and serve as play objects in the world indexically related to the fictive objects in the narrative. LARPs are not new, though they have been largely dismissed or ignored as performance practice until very recently, and consequently have developed in isolation from their cousins in the performing arts. By grappling directly with issues of large scale participation in liminal circumstances, they have developed complex and nuanced approaches to negotiating interaction in imagined spaces layered onto real locations.
LARP, as a community or as role play, has been commonly more associated with games than art, though the distinction between the two is largely arbitrary. Game design is an art. Performance is a kind of play. Although not precisely the same thing, they can be seen as gradations on a continuum of meaning-making human activity. We owe to Richard Schechner this notion of continuum between play and ritual, defining both as forms of performance differing only in how they constitute significance. Play (whether imaginative, physical, competitive or collaborative) is given meaning by the players themselves. Those playing the game agree to its meaning, its rules of engagement, its procedures and limitations. Together, we the players construct the game to suit the needs of this group in this moment of play.
Outside the game, the rules we agree to have no meaning and no effect. They matter only so far as they give context, meaning and value to specific interactions under specific conditions. As soon as the rules no longer suit the group, or the group dynamic changes to the degree that the old rules no long serve, they can be altered to redress any imbalances between the players. Play, in this sense, is all negotiation. In a game of cops and robbers I may call “bang, you’re dead” and expect you to play along, but you might as quickly call back, “no I’m not, you missed.” Without an arbitration process agreed upon before the game begins (playing Scissors, Paper, Rock to decide how accurate a shot I am, for instance) then no meaningful play can proceed. In the absence of agreement, if not rules per se, the play event can only disintegrate into argument, recrimination, hurt feelings and mistrust as players look for loopholes in the underdefined event.
Bernie DeKoven, legendary American play maker from the New Games Movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s, writes:
We need, in order to be willing to be willing, some guarantee, somewhere, that no matter what happens in our pursuit of the well-played game, we wil not be risking more than we are prepared to risk. Even though I’m aware that I might die as a result of trying to climb this mountain with you, I can accept that as part of the game. On the other hand, when I discover you’re cutting my rope so that you can get to the top first, I find myself much less willing to play…. The safer we feel in the game we’re playing, the more willing we are to play it. But for this experience of safety, we can’t rely solely on the game. We must also be able to believe that we are safe with each other.
In my work with Pop Up Playground, and in teaching play and participation with students, I have tended to boil this sentiment down to the simple caveat that “you can’t play if you are afraid.” You can pretend to play. You can enact, or re-enact, playing but, because part of you is held back, part of you reserved in case things go wrong, you can’t actually play. You can’t be truly immersed if you are always wondering, “what if?” You can’t give yourself to the game, the story, the performance or the moment if you’re worried what the next moment will bring or, worse, recovering from what the last moment brought.
‘Play negotiates relationships between the players and each other, between the players and the space, between the players and the goal of the game, between players and the world outside the game’
In my opinion, the works discussed earlier are not playing well with their audience. I believe this is because the artists may not have fully recognised that by offering participation to their audiences, they are offering them agency within the fictional social construction of the performance. Agency without negotiation is anarchy. (While I like the idea of anarchy, the real thing doesn’t tend to result in good art or play.)
Breaking through the fourth wall and making contact with your audience is seductive, of course. In two and a half thousand years of European traditions of performance, conventions gradually moved from collective ritual performances such as the dithyramb and epic poem, through liturgical, mystery and morality plays, Commedia dell’arte and Elizabethan indoor theatres. By the late 19th century, realism and the fourth wall situated the audience on the outside as (heh) witnesses, rather than participants. The prospect of bringing our art out from behind the proscenium arch and into the great unpredictable ocean of the audience is understandably tempting, especially in a time when audience choice and agency is catered to by electronic media on demand more comprehensively than ever before. But, accustomed as we are to the invisible demarcation between audience and art, we seem to fall unconsciously into the relationships of 19th century theatre, even as we subvert its familiar environments.
BUT (and it’s a big but), making conventional theatre is not the same as making immersive theatre. New relationships demand new modes of engagement. If these are not codified by the artists and communicated explicitly to the participants/players/audience, then, as a group, the performance and its audience will struggle to play well together. At best, most of the audience will revert to the rule set with which they’re already familiar, the “stand and watch” rules of traditional theatre; but there will also be well intentioned efforts by players to establish their own rules in order to engage with the offer of agency. These offers by players tend to be stunted by the inability to connect with the fiction or given circumstances of the work in a meaningful way. Players also generally lack the years of training in aesthetic decision-making that artists have, and so their offers tend to be uninspired, disconnected, confused and idiosyncratic.
And, of course, there is the more troubling issue of the participant who takes the lack of explicit rules as a suspension of all rules and social norms and takes advantage of the liminal space to transgress conventional (and assumed) social conventions.
I was prompted to write this essay by Judith Mackrell’s article about the participatory aspects of French choreographer Boris Charmatz’s work, 10,000 Gestures, in Manchester in July this year. There was a lot about Mackrell’s article that reminded me of Croggon’s concerns over Bunny and The Talk. Mackrell’s article is worth quoting at length to give a picture of the problematic nature of the performance:
The premise for Boris Charmatz’s 10,000 Gestures is that the dancers literally perform 10,000 gestures, each one distinct and never repeated. About three quarters of the way through the piece, they begin counting in French, loudly and somewhat frantically. This frantic energy then moves offstage, as the dancers begin to infiltrate the audience, crawling into the seats and all over the viewers. To say nothing of how crawling on top of unexpecting audience members might be violating, it was inarguably dangerous. One dancer, trying to climb from the orchestra seats up to the balcony, shattered a light with her foot and sent shards of glass flying into the audience. The performers, slippery with sweat, haphazardly used audience members as weight-bearing surfaces. One dancer screamed at me to give her my hand to bear down on, as if I owed it to her. Across the orchestra, I saw an audience member being lifted above the heads of several performers. I’m guessing she wasn’t asked if that was something she’d be interested in doing. Having strangers touch you without asking is one thing. But before venturing into the audience, the cast—many of whom were barely clothed—were touching their genitals onstage. This was hard to forget as they put their hands on our bodies, and inadvertently shoved said genitals into our faces.
But for many people, these kinds of interactions would be unacceptable regardless of the circumstances. Audience members with disabilities shouldn’t have to worry about whether performers are going to put them in danger or force them to do things they aren’t able to do. (Especially at a venue that calls itself accessible.) Those who’ve experienced trauma shouldn’t have to relive it by having strangers aggressively invade their personal space. No one should have to dodge getting feet or genitals in their faces. And some people simply don’t want to be touched by strangers for reasons they shouldn’t have to explain.
This doesn’t mean audiences shouldn’t be challenged or uncomfortable, or that audience participation can only take the often-clunky form of asking for volunteers. In other settings, I’ve had performers quietly whisper in my ear: “I’m going to sit on your lap, is that okay?” That simple question marked the difference between feeling violated and feeling like I was in on some delightful inside joke. Being explicit about any potentially dangerous or triggering content before audiences commit to attending a show—through marketing materials or the ticket-buying process—is another simple way of gaining consent.
Croggon makes much the same point when she suggests that issues of consent are as simply negotiated as a pre-show warning akin to the strobe light or smoke effects warning (I wonder was there the same kind of outcry when the Occupational Health and Safety warnings regarding these stage effects was introduced… I’m a bit too young to remember) and this is not wrong. A simple trigger warning before the show advising the kind of activity you as an audience/participant might be expected to comply with is at least a beginning. The resistance to such warnings feels related to the arguments about the introduction of permanently illuminated exit signs. Yes, they cast ambient light into the space, rendering a true blackout impossible, but to argue for the importance of a dramatic effect over the safety of the audience reveals a sense of entitlement and privilege on the part of the artists. It signals very clearly that, as an artist, my art (my blackout, my audience participation) is more important to me than my audience.
‘There is a lot that can be learned by immersive performance artists from engaging with the games and play community’
While I acknowledge this attitude might lead to a purely commercial approach to creativity, privileging the audience’s demands and desires over an artist’s expression, It strikes me as a particularly craven understanding of the process of making art. It suggests that the artist is central to the artwork, rather than the relationship between the artist and their audience. The transaction between creator and participant is central to the event, not the desires of one or the other party.
This brings me to the notion of play as negotiation. Performance is a kind of play which is, or has been, bound by a set of rules the govern the behaviour of all those participating. Those participants designated as performers have certain expectations, boundaries and abilities. They can speak, move and act as long as it is according to the predetermined paths of agency set out by the writer and elaborated between performers, director and other attached creatives. Likewise, for the audience, there are expectations of behaviours and strict limitations on participation. We sit, we watch, we interpret, we applaud, we leave.
Play (the condition of a participating audience) is a negotiation. Play negotiates relationships between the players and each other, between the players and the space, between the players and the goal of the game, between players and the world outside the game. Play is the art of negotiation. Again, to return to Bernie DeKoven:
We’ve see that a game can change. We’ve seen that the very game we’re playing can become something we never intended it to be. We made the change. It changed because of the way we were playing it. (My italics) It changed for the worse when we lost control. We didn’t just lose control, we actually surrendered it to other people with whom we weren’t even playing. As a result, though we were all involved in the game as much as we possibly could be, none of us was able to enjoy it. We couldn’t even see that it was a game, that it wasn’t for real, that we were only playing.
The kind of art we’re talking about here doesn’t negotiate.
When I encounter works that promise immersion and participation but awkwardly shoehorn that participation into the tightly closed feedback loop between audience and performance, that offer me agency within the world of the performance and then reduce that agency to walking around and changing my perspective on the world or voting via my phone, then my immediate first thought is – we are not your props, we are your co-creators and we deserve your respect. My second thought is – you don’t understand that by changing the relationship of how we engage with your art, you are inviting us to play a new game, and you need to be very clear about the rules we play this game by.
This is not to say that the concerns of participation by the audience are restricted to fully immersive (if not fully participatory) works like Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More. Mark Lawson in the Guardian describes a moment in Headlong’s adaptation of 1984 which draws the audience momentarily unawares into the performance. He writes:
There’s an unsettling moment, for example, in 1984 … when the dissident Winston Smith, enduring torture from the state enforcer O’Brien, suddenly catches sight of the stalls and pleads: “You – I can see you all sitting there. Why don’t you do something?” The intellectual point being made is clear enough: we should be doing more to protest present-day government-sponsored torture in Guantanamo Bay or Syria. But, as a theatregoer, it seemed unfair – had we tried to storm the boards and free Winston, we would we have been ejected by ushers – and it interrupted my appreciation of an otherwise engrossing production.
I mean, I didn’t love their Melbourne Festival production of 1984. I felt that their interpretation of the text for the audience that were seeing it was pandering to the better angels of the cultured middle classes anxieties. Furthermore, these moments of leaning out to an audience from inside the show, acknowledging them briefly, a wink and nod to the reality we’re working to deny, are no more immersive or participatory than Shakespeare’s asides to the audience or the moments in Waiting for Godot when Gogo and Didi consider the auditorium and refer to it (and by extension us) as a swamp. Even a play as conventional as Peter Nichols A Day in the Death of Joe Egg “casts” the audience as students being taught by main character.
I’m not saying that all immersive performances must abandon mystery and offer explicit descriptions of the event beforehand, or that we mustn’t call out to an audience from within what is, for the most part, a traditional, end-on performance behind the fourth wall. Rather, I’d encourage our immersive and participatory theatre makers to give some real thought to the role of the participating audience. How will we engage with your work? How are we to know how?
The game design channel Extra Credits, on YouTube, talks about how to introduce new players to your experience (game, immersive theatre experience, what-have-you).
A good new player’s experience consists of three pieces, the hook, the tutorial and the reward… Just because it’s the tutorial doesn’t mean it shouldn’t deliver on everything you bought the game for. A well-constructed reward comes in two pieces, the immediate reward (level up, new weapon or extra life, explosions and bonus points) – and the long term reward, that reinforces the desire in the player to keep playing …
There is a lot that can be learned by immersive performance artists from engaging with the games and play community. Games and play are forms that are defined by participation, and issues of consent, informed or otherwise, have largely been explored by game designers and play makers in both digital and traditional formats. If we are to involve our audiences as participants in the act of co-creation of a performance, then our artist must give more attention and care to their audiences and how we engage with the works.
Simply put…care for your audience. We are all part of the event.
In a 2015 paper on site-based theatre experiences for University of Colorado at Boulder, Randall Harmon writes that:
In a site-based theatre experience, without such conventional signifiers indicating where to direct one’s gaze or hearing, the preponderance of contextual and empirical information might overshadow and overwhelm one’s experience of the performance. Framing the audience’s perceptions as they experience and sense the production poses a vital challenge to the designers of site-based theatre performances.
Considering the widespread allegations of sexual assault levied by performance against audience as part of Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, Aimée Lutkin says in Jezebel.com:
There are other protocols in place for following troublesome or drunken patrons, and actors are trained in how to respond to unwanted touching. But until very recently, there was no explicit message to the audience that touching isn’t allowed, but not for lack of demand.
I’m reminded of a story I heard early on about crowd management at the New York production of Sleep No More. There is a moment in the production where an actor stands up out of a bath, completely naked, and gestures for a robe to be brought to her. On one occasion, an audience member appeared to misinterpret the gesture and reached out to take the performer in an embrace. The performer screamed and, apparently from out of nowhere, black-suited security guards emerged from the crowd and escorted the offending audience member from the performance.
While I can easily empathise with the performer In that moment of vulnerability and anxiety, I also find myself wondering about the audience member. Certainly, there have been multiple complaints by performers of audiences crossing the line (a line intentionally blurred by the performance) and there have been genuine cases of assault of performers facilitated by the liminal social space; but equally, I wonder how often these spaces are simply misinterpreted, because they are left open to interpretation. It is not enough to simply assume participants will know which social rules are to be followed and which disregarded. If your art reshapes the social moment – which all performance art does – then some thought must be given to the shape of the moment we all will share.
‘Care for your audience. We are all part of the event’
Finally, I’m reminded of Sydney Front and their performance The Pornography of Performance. In this work the performers placed themselves, naked, inside plastic boxes with holes open to the outside world. Audience members were invited to reach into the boxes to discover what was inside. Here they found the naked bodies of the performers. This was originally presented in 1988, but I saw a version restaged in Melbourne. I only managed to put my hand through one hole in one box: the slightly clammy, goose pimpled flesh my touch found was so repulsive I couldn’t bring myself to repeat the action. Not that the flesh itself was gross, or the body in any way repulsive, but the transgression represented here was somehow fundamentally disturbing. Flesh decontextualized: divorced from identity, personality, humanity.
I still remember that moment as a creepy and intrusive experience. What was in the boxes wasn’t a surprise – I’d read descriptions of the original performance – but I found the actual visceral experience surprising and disturbing. There’s so much packed into that moment of touching an anonymous stranger’s body in the context of a public performance. It made me question why I put my hand in the box in the first place. Was I looking for gratification? Was I looking for intimacy (as unearned as it was)? Was I looking for mystery as represented by the unknown body? I don’t know. I wasn’t mature enough to really engage with what was being offered and, crucially, what was being asked of me.
Eighteen years later I have this to say:
Dear Artists, simply blurring the line is not enough. If you wish to interrogate the social and physical boundaries between you and I, then it is also your responsibility to redraw the line clearly and negotiate its redefinition with your audience.
In a culture where permission and consent, intimacy and agency, are confused and fraught from years of abuse, is it too much to ask that our artists give some consideration to the boundaries an audience might bring with them, and how to ensure these are mutually challenged rather than, once again, simply transgressed?
Discussing Sleep No More in the Guardian, Guardian writer Alexis Soloski said that its performers can:
grab patrons, pulling them aside for intimate one-on-one scenes, maybe it seems unfair that patrons can’t do the same. But hey, those are the rules in strip clubs, too, and people mostly follow them. (By the way, as an audience member, I was once cheerfully snogged by an actor who leapt into the aisles in the Broadway production of Hair. Did I reciprocate? No. Because I’m a woman and a critic and the house lights were half up and I have some sense of boundaries.)… In an environment where misconduct is possible and audience members can’t all be trusted to behave themselves appropriately, it is incumbent on the show’s producers to set clear guidelines and to have enough security present to enforce them. The Sleep No More producers claim that there is plenty of security, but performers dispute this. Only recently has a line been added to the show asking audience members to “keep a respectful distance” from the performers. Wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a culture where this nannyish reminder was unnecessary? It would. We don’t.
Immersive performance, participatory performance: no matter what terminology we use (and the taxonomy is still very much in flux as the form develops), the core of the experience largely remains unchanged, and the ethics of engagement remain unchanged with it.
Although I was an awkward kid who found it difficult to socialise, and preferred to remain alone with my imagination than risk encountering real live kids who had their own understanding of how the world revolved around them, I still managed to learn that the simplest way to establish consent is simply to ask.
Do you want to play?
Five single-syllable words that would solve a lot of the anxiety around including participants in a performance. Even without knowing what we’re agreeing to, the option to choose the unknown, rather than simply to be thrust into it, is vital to bringing your audience along with you.
Dear artists. Audiences will trust you if you trust them.
All it takes is respect.
The Well Played Game: a playful path to wholeness. Bernie DeKoven, Writers Club Press, Lincoln, New England, 2002.
Randall Harmon, University of Colorado, Boulder, Theatre and Dance Graduate Theses & Dissertations Theatre and Dance, Spring 1-1-2015, Site-based Theatre in 21st Century Britain: Conceptualizing Audience Experiences, Pg 126 And Pg 156,
Extra Credits, Tutorials that don’t talk down to you – context sensitive design. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFdEEzgc7pg