Audience Engagement in the Performing Arts – A Critical Analysis

This book explores the concept of audience engagement from a number of complementary perspectives, including cultural value, arts marketing, co-creation and digital engagement. It offers a critical review of the existing literature on audience research and engagement, and provides an overview of established and emerging methodologies deployed to undertake research with audiences. The book focusses on the performing arts, but draws from a rich diversity of academic fields to make the case for a radically interdisciplinary approach to audience research.

The book’s underlying thesis is that at the heart of audience research there is a mutual exchange of value wherein audiences ideally play the role of strategic partners in the mission fulfilment of arts organisations. Illustrating how audiences have traditionally been side-lined, homogenised and vilified, it contends that the future paradigm of audience studies should be based on an engagement model, wherein audiences take their rightful place as subjects rather than objects of empirical research.

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