The word audience represents all those attending, and attending to [paying attention to], a performance, with whatever senses, as a collective, implicitly with the shared emotions of a crowd or a large group.
In theatre, the audience, although usually outside the performance itself (extradiegetic) has an effect on the performance. Actors often talk about this effect, the way the energy and behaviour of the audience affects their performance, hence good, bad, lively, dead, etc. audiences.
Some theatre encourages audience participation to varying levels, bringing the audience as a whole, or members of it, into an intradiegetic position (inside the performance) even to a level that could be considered a form of co-authorship. This has implications for the way we think about narrative environments, where those who might be considered the audience are often inside the environment and therefore may, or may be caused to, experience the narrative intradiegetically, becoming participants in the ‘performance’ or ‘realisation’ of the narrative environment.
Bennett, S. (1988). The role of the audience: a theory of production and reception [PhD thesis]. McMaster University. Available from https://macsphere.mcmaster.ca/bitstream/11375/6827/1/fulltext.pdf [Accessed 31 March 2019].
Stuart Jonesedited 3 April, 2019 by Admin
The character who is at the centre of the drama and, typically, whose conflicts and actions drive it. From Greek tragedy, as dicussed by Aristotle in ‘Poetics’.
The protagonist is not necessarily a hero, they can be an anti hero (Hamlet, hero – Macbeth, anti-hero)