Scholarly work on the impact of an active audience on theatrical and dance performance is a relatively new phenomenon, one that until now has manifested itself largely in the form of scattered dialogue on the subject. Audience Participation: Essays on Inclusion in Performance serves as a corrective to this. While the passive audience has long been acknowledged in works on response theory and audience studies for its contribution to the performance event, performance styles that use the audience as an active contributing creative force have been appended to the studies as merely variations on a theme.
This anthology brings together essays on direct audience participation in the work of fourteen widely varied theatrical and dance artists, covering performance genres of the past and present, popular entertainment and high art. Its comprehensiveness and uniqueness make it an important contribution to the literature on theater and its many forms and facets.