Audience Contact Series: Using the Audience as an Object and Character Relationships

Hello all, today I will be talking about the final two audience contact types. The first one is short and it is defined as when an actor use the audience as an object they talk about. Rather than naming an audience member as a specific character, the actor will generalize the person into a larger group. This is why this technique differs from casting an audience member, they do not get a specific name, they get a description that shows the rest of the audience the type of person the actor is talking about.

The final form of audience contact is actually shown through the relationship of two characters. An example of this could be from Henry VI Part I, where Margaret and Suffolk are on stage but only Suffolk is talking. Suffolk starts a monologue and when he is done Margaret says “Why speakest thou not”. This is evidence that she despite being on stage, Margaret did not hear a word of Suffolk’s speech. This tells the audience that they were who Suffolk was talking to and Margaret was not supposed to know what Suffolk was saying. We know that Shakespeare meant for this scene to have this relationship with the audience as it would not work any other way.

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