A Critical Research Paper on the Role of Audience in the Performing Arts
In the modern day arts events, there is significant change, which has happened in this critical and influential arts scene. The type of revolution that has taken place in the contemporary art environment has led to development and emancipation of essential art fundamentals, which were initially practiced in the Shakespearean age. The virtue of audience participation has been fundamentally changed in a great manner. According to Levine “At any given show, audience members might applaud mid-scene, shout along with their favorite snippets of dialogue, boo, hiss, carry on a loud running commentary, smoke cigars and spit tobacco juice on the floor…” In essence, in those days the participatory mechanisms found in a theatre contained active elements giving the audience a chance to charge as the play proceeds.
In the modern day play environment the audience is elementally reduced to a passive platform whereby only observatory elements are promoted as opposed to traditional rendition and participatory criterion (Henrick, 2004). This therefore implies that currently majority of the theatre participants do not adequately in accomplishing critical elements of the play from as their experience is reduced to that of an observatory perspective. Some of the behaviors that are considered in the modern day performing art environment entail more of orderly provisions. The audience is given limited chances to indulge into the critical elements of the play, for instance, the aspect of etiquette has taken a different dimension. The behavior can be compared vividly to the elements instituted in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is described as having a ‘closed operation’. In this sense, certain elements like the enforcement of a dress code, exclusion of young children, tobacco, and canes, controlled aspects of audience, for instance, loud talking, hooting and shouting.
In addition in the modern day performing arts scene there is the inclusion of viewer discretion warning requirements, limit on participants/audience, and institution of parental advisory rules and regulations (Henrick, 2004). These new age elements serve to define some of the behavioral characteristics associated with the modern setting and they further the initial developments in regard to similar provisions as seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The shift from the 19Th century audience mindset to more modern standards is critically indicative of the changing American culture trends regarding etiquette. This is especially connected to a historical perspective in which Americans feared the transgression into the culture from exotic cuture elements. This led to the formulation of strategies and mannerisms that would subserviently affect the growing exotic population from gaining an intrusive ability (Henrick, 2004).
As it is explained in the passage, “Many Americans feared that the basic fabric of their cultural existence was threatened by the influx of strangers, each of whom brought with them their own stories, songs, and dances.” Therefore, in a bid to inculcate unique perspectives into the culture element Americans tended to adopt more liberal approaches towards the enhancement of certain societal roles. The overarching effect was henceforth felt evenly across the significant racial, religious, and cultural divide leading to the emancipation of key behavioral elements, for instance, etiquette (Henrick, 2004).The contemporary audience has developed a more relaxed tendency towards the aspect of inculcating the virtue of patience in the watching of a play or a movie. The development of a more passive approach and subsequent sentimental issues regarding opera viewing has led to a critical attitude change (Henrick, 2004). The present day audience sails in the infamous first President of the New York labeling of an alternative audience as “the blessed joys of an attentive audience.
‘ The shift to these mechanisms through introduction of critical guiding rules and restrictions in the opera environment led to disinterest in the whole scene. Ironically, the previous audience was fundamentally attracted to the conspicuous drama element in almost all the play scenes. However, the current audience has adopted an abstract structure of events in which they are more interested in filtering the thematic concerns and elements of style from the play giving them the ability to watch critically long performances (Henrick, 2004). The fundamental roles of the modern day audience have changed amid rising interest in the literary field. For instance, where Shakespeare was part of popular culture in the 19th century, has he since been raised to such artistic heights that an audience’s deference is now appropriate, if not expected. This elementally true considering the different cultural entities to which the modern society is entrusted.
The audience currently has developed enhanced levels of interest in the development of definitive aspects and requirements governing the play environment. According to Levin, “Audiences had to submit to creators and become mere instruments of the will, mere auditors of the productions of the artist.” This aspect has been transformed to include an analytical perspective from the contemporary audience (Henrick, 2004). The modern era greatly borrows from classical elements initially provided by plays, symphonies, and operas. In the current setting, these elements are still being practiced in certain settings especially in those societies known to be essentially conservative.
This implies that these forms of classical elements have not become degenerative any sense but serve to complement the emerging modern elements of performing arts (Henrick, 2004). However, the new age has new elements into the performing arts scenario as shown in, “Those audiences that refused to comply were quickly, efficiently shuffled from the performances, and found new outlets in alternate forms of entertainment like Vaudeville, sports and later films.” These merely represent a transition of objectives from the previously conservative formula into a more adaptive formula singling out integrated modern aspects that include role played by technology as seen in films. Modern vestiges in audience attitude include more sitting quite as the performance continues no vocal expression nor applause and promotion of the sentiment of etiquette. In the modern day performances, there is literally no provision for rowdiness in the literary scene as it is considered improper and out of place.
Contrary to that modern audience has adopted new techniques as seen in the cult movies in which, “audiences who dress up like the characters, interject dialogue, and sing along with the musical numbers.” These kinds of evolving aspects seem to suggest the move towards the appreciation of costume and other visible and vocal arrangements. It also further suggests a move towards the adoption of other forms of non violent participatory mechanisms as opposed to the previously violent approaches that result in the current change.The shift in audience characteristics implies a shrinking in the performance sector as people adopt more formal and liberal approaches towards enhancement of production techniques. American performing arts therefore stands to gain through their increasing involvement in the literary scene by integrating modernity in their respective performance sets. Furthermore, the modern concept of a quiet, attentive audience persist will persist as the 19th century audience’s boisterous aesthetic regain prominence.
This is because of the development of analytical perspectives from the scope of understanding the literary content in the performing arts (Henrick, 2004). The development of a new audience image in regard to progressing performing arts is unavoidable in the current multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and integrated society setting.