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When you go to the theater you may never see your name in lights but your role as an audience member is just as important as the star of the show A play never really exists until it is performed in front of an audience That makes an audience what the art of playwriting is all about its the magic of the theater and the excitement of imagination Plays must be written so that the audience member changes deep inside and seeing the writer change as well Theater is a social event and to feel its full effect it must be experienced as a group Most people come to be entertained to have their emotions stirred or to laugh Theater uses bright lights movement and dance to keep your attention Even though you are there as individuals an audience quickly becomes a group A social psychologist by the name of Emory Bogardus said that through willing suspension of disbelief individual differences melt away you become a crowd and the nature of your response changes In his discussion of crowd behavior he also points out that A heightened state of suggestibility is characteristic of a crowd The preponderance of feelings over reason heightens suggestibility The excitement that frequently prevails in a crowd throws persons off their guard The force of numbers is overwhelming A part of the problem of controlling attention is avoiding the distractions that curse a theatrical performance such as people coming in late the rustling of programs foot shuffling coughs and sneezes as well as distractions that may occur onstage such as missed cues long waits poor costumes obvious makeup scenery that shakes when a door is slammed a crooked picture and light-reflecting surfaces There are two types of audiences voluntary and involuntary Voluntary says that people watch and listen on their own they make an effort to understand Involuntary requires no conscious effort It results from stimuli such as a scream in
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