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Audience Immersion and the Experience of Scenography

Shearing, David Richard (2015) Audience Immersion and the Experience of Scenography. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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This study sits at the intersection of two fields of academic enquiry into performance practice: audience reception of scenography and the rise of ‘immersive’ theatre. Using my own scenographic practice as a tool, I illuminate the understanding of audience experience of scenography in environmental performance and question how scenography might act as an agent for audience immersion. I examine the nature of sensory and imaginative engagement in the context of performance installations in black-box studio spaces where audiences are central to the composition. This practice-based study is composed of two parts: the presentation and development of a series of three performance installations (VOID/ROOM, If anyone wonders why rocks breakdown, and it all comes down to this…) and this supporting written thesis. In this thesis I present an original model of audience immersion that elucidates how audiences might become entwined with the scenography of performance. My three-part model of audience immersion consists of interlinking concepts expressed as Immersion as Landscape, Immersion as Weather and Immersion as Journey. The main theoretical perspectives have been developed through my readings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Drew Leder and Tim Ingold. As part of my findings, I explain how ‘mindfulness/awareness’ developed through Ellen Langer, Eleanor Rosch, Evan Thompson and Francisco Varela can act as a mode of audience engagement that might afford deeper relational encounters between the participant and design material.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: This thesis is submitted in conjunction with supporting practice-based material on USB.
Keywords: Scenography, Immersion, Spectatorship, Performance Design, Practice, Mindfulness, Audience, Weather, Journey
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > Performance and Cultural Industries (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.658748
Depositing User: Dr David Shearing
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2015 10:55
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2018 13:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9467

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