1 - 5 of 5 Chapters
[I decided to use “engaging” in the title of this book when I was performing a role in a Pittsburgh production of Richard II. There are two “gage” scenes in Shakespeare’s history play, when several noblemen on stage throw down the gloves they wear (their “gages”) as a part of their armor to...
[Many elements of spectatorship are so basic that we tend to overlook them when analyzing what audiences do while engaged in a performance. We take it for granted that spectators will usually pay attention to what is happening on the stage, that they will be able to understand the sounds coming...
[We are social animals. Because evolution has equipped our species with more sensitivity to the needs and emotions of others than is evident in other mammals, we carry these cognitive capabilities with us into theatrical viewing. As we will see, our social cognition builds upon and overlaps with...
[Merlin Donald’s summary of our cognitive evolution underlines the fact that human cultures cannot simply sit atop our evolutionary success as a species and operate in ways that are unconstrained by nature. All symbolic cultures must accommodate our episodic and mimetic pasts, a cognitive...
[This Epilogue is primarily an appeal to the imagination of theatre historians interested in taking the cognitive turn in their future audience histories. Given my narrow intended audience, some readers interested in the general dynamics of spectatorship may not wish to pursue this more...
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