The Engaged Audience

A Guide to Active ParticipationHarmonics of Thought

by Claude Needham & Vera da Muse


The Engaged Audience

Instant (PDF) download $(9.95)


Turn up your focus as we lay it on you. If you didn't know it, now you do: The audience is a pivotal part of the artistic equation that is a performance. A live performance is a vibrant dance of energy, a synergy that transcends the physical space between the stage and the seats. An impassive, disinterested audience can be a source of drain, leaching away the vitality of a performance. On the other hand, an audience immersed in rapt, focused attention can imbue the entire spectacle with an exhilarating sense of life and enthusiasm.

This relationship prompts a thought-provoking inquiry: How might I, as an individual within the sea of faces, be the best audience member I can be? In what ways can I help spark the ethereal magic that transforms a routine recital into an unforgettable experience?

Our exploration of these intriguing questions reveals a complex tapestry of involvement created from the fabric of attitudes, emotions, and behaviors.

In this micro master class, we present fifteen distinct methods of engagement that capture the many ways one can serve as an active participant in a performance, rather than as a passive onlooker.

Further, we consider how the very energy we emit as audience members can have a tangible impact, and how holding different perspectives can lead to a more diverse and enriching collective experience. The art of imaginative engagement is considered, and the introspective process of internal reflection. The power of mindful presence, the value of openness, and the fundamental necessity of respect are also explored.

Each of the fifteen methods of engagement offer a unique lens through which we may view and participate in a performance. Between them, they will outline a comprehensive framework for understanding your role as an audience member. Thereby, empowering you to contribute positively and meaningfully to a truly memorable performance. Let us begin this journey of exploration together, illuminating the ways you can enrich and be enriched by the performances we attend.


This book, suggested 45 exercises -- 3 exercises each in 15 different areas.

Each exercise was developed to enhance your ability to more fully engage in a performance.

The full range of exercises within this book, ranging from Adoration to Respect, offer a roadmap to achieving a higher level of engagement. By actively participating in these exercises, you're doing much more than just watching a performance.

This exercises should help you transcend the role of a passive viewer to become an active contributor to the energy of the performance.

"Adoration" and "Appreciation" promote a profound connection between the audience and performers, reminding us of the hard work, dedication, and soul poured into each performance. By fanning the flames of adoration, we are not only acknowledging the effort but also showing our gratitude, which in turn creates an energetic bond with the performers.

"Empathy" and "Encouragement" remind us that theater is not just about the spectacle but the emotions that drive it. When we connect with the emotions of the characters, we aren't merely spectators; we're participants in the shared human experience. Sending silent words of encouragement helps bolster this bond further.

Being "Fluid", having "Mindful Presence", and "Imaginative Engagement" call upon the audience to immerse themselves in the narrative, to flow with its tides, and to allow their minds to roam the realms of possibilities. It encourages a dynamic interaction between the viewer's emotions and the unfolding narrative.

The exercises also underscore the importance of "Openness" and "Respect". As in life, in theater too, every moment might not align with our preferences or expectations. However, by staying open and showing respect, we celebrate the diversity of expressions and the universality of human emotions.

In closing, while a stage performance is a marvel to behold, it is made even more magical when the audience is truly engaged. Through this curated collection of exercises, not only will your experience be enhanced, but the shared energy will ripple through the auditorium, making every performance unforgettable.

Next time you find yourself in a theater, remember that you are not just an observer but an integral part of the performance. Embrace it, live it, and cherish it. Here's to the magic of theater and the art of truly engaging with it.