Actors and Audiences explores the exchanges between those on and off the stage that fill the atmosphere with energy and vitality. Caroline Heim utilises the concept of electric air to describe this phenomenon and discuss the charge of emotional electricity that heightens the audience's senses in the theatre.
In order to understand this electric air, Heim draws from in-depth interviews with 79 professional audience members and 22 international stage and screen actors in the United Kingdom, United States, France and Germany. Tapping into the growing interest in empirical studies of the audience, this book documents experiences from three productions - The Encounter, Heisenberg and Hunger. Peer Gynt - to describe the nature of these conversations. The interviews disclose essential elements: transference, identification, projection, double consciousness, presence, stage fright and the suspension of disbelief. Ultimately Heim reveals that the heart of theatre is the relationship between those on- and off-stage, the way in which emotions and words create psychological conversations that pass through the fourth wall into an in-between space, and the resulting electric air.
A fascinating introduction to a unique subject, this book provides a close examination of actor and audience perspectives, which is essential reading for students and academics of Theatre, Performance and Audience Studies.