Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Alison L. McKee
Audience, Engagement, Internet, Participation, Theatre, website
Theater; Information technology; Performing arts
This thesis explores whether theatre Web sites contain tools that have the potential to deepen audience engagement in live performance. By synthesizing data from a variety of scholarly sources, it presents a thorough and specific definition of engagement (active participation through educated interpretation, conversation and critique, social connection to a theatre company's community, or creative expression) and makes a detailed case that online tools can increase audience engagement. Because it addresses the significance of engagement and Internet technologies to audience participation in the theatrical event, this study is relevant not only to theatre and arts participation scholars but also to theatre companies and other arts organizations.
To provide an unbiased account of how theatre Web sites may deepen audience engagement, this study examined the Web presences of a randomly selected group of American not-for-profit theatre companies, identifying engaging elements and analyzing their features and functions. All of the sampled theatre Web presences contained elements that could increase audience engagement, and these elements offered the possibility of engagement in all its forms--educated interpretation, conversation and critique, social connection, and creative expression.
McClelland, Elizabeth Lynn, "Tools of Engagement: The Potential of Theatre Web Sites for Fostering Active Audience Participation" (2011). Master's Theses. Paper 4063.