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How to Incite Audiences and Engage Actors: Environmental Theatre and the Second Circle

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Author: Kruesi, Larissa Anne
Advisor: Wolf, Laurie J.
Committee Members: Allar, Matthew; Begley, Varun; Palmer, Richard H.
Issued Date: 7/18/2012
Subjects: Environmental theatre
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/16774
Description: Environmental theatre removes many conventional expectations between actors and audience members and adds an element of surprise and unknown to a theatrical experience that affects all participants, whether they have rehearsed for two months or just joined the cast for that single night. Using scenic design to manipulate the audience, the director and actors are able to incorporate the audience into the performance, and immerse them into the action of the play. For the actors, the audience serves a second role of not only spectator, but also fellow actor. Each night, the actors are faced with new scene partners, and because they cannot predict or anticipate how the audience will affect their performance, the play is in a permanent state of evolution. Applying Patsy Rodenburg's theory of the "Three Circles of Energy” to the actors' performance experience, I will observe how second circle contributes to an environmental theatre production and how the knowledge of the three circles affects the actors' performances, particularly their focus and their preparation. Using the actors' and the audience's feedback after each performance, I will learn how the rehearsal process prepared or did not prepare the actors for performances and how the audience perceived their role in the production.
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in Theatre, Speech and Dance

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