Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Performance and Cultural Industries


Audience Experience and Engagement


In this section:

Research Mission

The Audience Experience and Engagement research group takes an interdisciplinary approach to investigating how audiences engage with and are engaged by a range of theatre forms, performance and the arts. We are interested in how active modes of engagement such as co-production and co-creation herald a departure from traditional forms of spectatorship and signal a new dialogic relationship between artists, arts organisations and audiences. In order to study these emerging forms of engagement, we draw on and develop a wide variety of creative and anthropological research methods that can reveal audience embodiment, experience and agency, and provide insights into how artists and arts organisations design meaningful and memorable experiences for their audiences and communities.

For further information contact: Ben Walmsley b.walmsley@leeds.ac.uk

Images courtesy of Malcolm Johnson

Group Members

Academic Staff:

Dr Anna Fenemore, Associate Professor in Contemporary Theatre and Performance
Dr Leila Jancovich, Lecturer in Cultural and Creative Industries
Dr Kara McKechnie, Lecturer in Dramaturgy and Literary Management
Dr Joslin McKinney, Associate Professor in Scenography
Dr Scott Palmer, Lecturer in Scenography
Dr Ben Walmsley, Lecturer in in Audience Engagement

PhD researchers:

Alison Andrews Know Your Place: the relationship between artists and audiences in site specific-performance
Emma Gee The Death of the Director?: the role of the director in participative practice
Kathryn Graham – Scenographic Light: Towards an Understanding of Expressive light in Performance
Gillian Knox – Appropriating the ‘real’: utilising documentary and verbatim strategies to create fictional performance.
Sarah LittleModes of consumption as production and the agency and empowerment of audiences as creative partners in urban arts practices
Clare Martynski – Exploring the role of the arts and culture in catalysing action towards a sustainable future
Duncan Marwick – Revealing Responsiveness
Xristina Penna – Scenography, cognitive science and collective making processes
Sarah Reynolds
Jaroslava Tomanova – Understanding cultural policy transfer: the case of the Czech Republic
Agnieszka Wlazel 
Fan Wu – Understanding Chinese theatre audiences

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