Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Theatre & Dance
As a genre, musical theatre has been left out of the discussion in scholarly and seminal works in the area of spectator/audience reception theory studies. This paper integrates spectator theory with musical theatre performance to consider the "in the moment" experience of musical theatre as a live event in which the spectator actively participates. This paper reviews models which describe the actor-spectator relationship from theatre theories of semiotics, phenomenology, cognitive approaches to spectating, and the study of the theatrical event and adapts them to create a new model of theatrical communication between the actor and spectator in a musical theatre performance. This new model is used to analyze the actor-spectator relationship during actual musical theatre performances. Each analysis takes a fresh look at viewing musical theatre through the frame of the active actor-spectator relationship with the goal of examining what is going on between the stage and spectator that packs such a punch in the moment of experience .
Balch, Jean Louise, "Intersections of Theatre Theories of Spectatorship with Musical Theatre Practices in Performance and Production" (2012). Theatre and Dance Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 13.