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 natural:
It’s not ppl addicted to phones ruining theatre, it’s that as a species we are developing telepathic abilities. Sometimes more interesting.
— Michael Wheeler (@michaelcwheeler) July 10, 2015
But other people have strong opinions to the contrary:
— Anthony Oliveira (@oliveiranth) June 27, 2015
As Sarah Garton Stanley points out, electricity changed the nature of the theatrical experience and the web is changing it again, a theme Alison Bowie also picks up on in this edition. Meanwhile, Michelle Kennedy reminds us volunteers are also a part of our audience connecting this discussion to the controversy surrounding how people of all abilities can participate in The Edmonton International Fringe Festival.
In all instances the hope was people would sit still and be quiet, but instead they are fired up and logging in.