The Spectator and the Spectacle: Audiences in Modernity and Postmodernity

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Spectators and audiences are everywhere in contemporary culture. However, even in conventional performance, whether in the theatre, in film or television, or at a sporting event, it is difficult to discuss spectators with any authority, since each of us experiences and understands the display in different ways and all methods of analyzing spectators are flawed or unreliable. This book provides instead a series of investigations into specific types of performance activity, and how they relate to their audiences. Specific topics discussed include the relationship of audiences to the rise of the director, the avant-garde, tourism, gambling, the effect of cinema on live performance and sport, including crowd violence. Spectatorship is an area of increasing importance in the field of theatre and performance studies, and this engaging study is a valuable contribution to the development of thinking about audiences and spectators.