Private Readings - Public Texts: Playreaders' Constructs of Theatre Audiences

Private Readings - Public Texts: Playreaders' Constructs of Theatre Audiences

by Kenneth Krauss
     
 

In this volume, Kenneth Krauss maintains that if readers are to comprehend playscripts as plays, they must imagine the theatre audience - so vital to the staging of any script, but conspicuously absent from the text itself. Krauss examines what has been written about reading playscripts (or "playreading") and proposes four possible ways, founded on a… See more details below

Overview

In this volume, Kenneth Krauss maintains that if readers are to comprehend playscripts as plays, they must imagine the theatre audience - so vital to the staging of any script, but conspicuously absent from the text itself. Krauss examines what has been written about reading playscripts (or "playreading") and proposes four possible ways, founded on a reception-oriented approach to theatre communication and spectator response, that playreaders may construct a sense of theatre audiences. The study begins with a review of a varied collection of books and dissertations, written over the last forty-five years, all of which explicitly discuss playreading and exhibit only minor interest in the relationship between reader and theatre audience. The study next attempts to explain why writers more sympathetic to a reader-centered view of reading, notably reader-response critics, have avoided dramatic texts almost entirely. The study finds that both theoretical and institutional limitations have kept recent so-called audience-centered critics from the crucial issues related to reading playscripts. Drawing on play reading literature and on theatre reception theory, the study presents four spectator constructs which readers may deploy during the reading of playscripts. The first is what some, notably David Scanlan and Karen Laughlin, see as the "inscribed" audience (the rhetorical "house" implied by the playscript itself), which is in fact usually a projection of readers themselves. The second construct, originally proposed by Roger Gross, is the hypothetical audience which is significantly distinct from text and reader. The third and fourth, suggested by Kirsten Nigro, are the more specific actual or historical audience - which is based on hard data about real spectators - and the speculated audience, which focuses on either those who never come to see the play in question or those who actually did come but who must be imagined seeing the performance under different circums

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780838634967
Publisher:
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Publication date:
05/01/1993
Pages:
160

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