Audiences don’t just come in the form of paid ticket holders; audiences aren’t just people who read an article in the newspaper; audiences aren’t only coming to see their favourite local “celebrity”. Audiences are those people too, of course, and we love them. But audiences are also the media, family and friends of artists, funders of all stripes, artists both past and present and, most importantly, volunteers.
Critiquing the behaviour of audiences at live performance is de rigueur in North America at present. I am of the mind this behaviour is fairly...
First of all audiences don’t come to the theatre (what the hell is wrong with them?) and when they do they don’t stay (why the hell didn't they just stay home?) and if they do come they let their phones ring (Is there no intelligence left in this world?) or worse, yet, they text! (I mean don’t they know they are not the centre of the universe?) What a bunch of jerks! Audiences are assholes! Like basically they don’t know how to do anything right anymore. What has happened to civilization?!
So, what is it that is really bothering us? Is it that our audiences want to talk? They want to communicate with one another? Is it that they want to bring electronics into the theatre? No. The real problem we are facing is not that our audiences want to bring technology into the theatrical space – it’s that by doing so, they are disengaging with the performance that is happening right in front of them. They are no longer a part of the show. And that’s not a problem with them – that’s a problem with us.