WHAT IS THIS PROJECT?
Critical Mass: Theatre Spectatorship and Value Attribution is a research project looking at how theatre audiences value the experience of attending performances. The focus is on the self-reported descriptions of experiences of individuals who attend the theatre, which was gathered mainly through online questionnaires, interviews, and creative workshops. We also tapped memory by asking some subjects about a performance they saw one year or more ago. The research examined how individuals process the cognitive and affective experience of seeing a theatre performance in relation to their context (location, identity, and moment-in-time), their previous theatre histories, and their associational networks.
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WHO LED THIS PROJECT AND WHO WAS INVOLVED? This project was led by the University of Warwick, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and was carried out in collaboration with Royal Holloway University of London, Manchester Metropolitan University, and The British Theatre Consortium (BTC), a small think-tank of academics and artists. Professor Janelle Reinelt (Warwick) was the principal investigator; Professor Dan Rebellato and Senior Lecturer Chris Megson of Royal Holloway, and Senior Lecturer Julie Wilkinson of Manchester Metropolitan were co-investigators. The playwright David Edgar was consultant to the project and Dr. Jane Woddis was Project Manager–all are members of the BTC. In addition, the project had three theatre partners: the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Young Vic, and the Drum Theatre in Plymouth, who facilitated this research.