The theatregoer's epiphany: becoming a theatregoer

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Lewis, Jonathan (2012)

The aim of this paper is to investigate the phenomenon of how an individual becomes a theatregoer. The paper suggests that in order to become theatregoers, people experience a moment of theatrical epiphany, a ‘wow moment’, at a production, after which they are set on a trajectory of theatregoing. From this moment they assume the self-identity of theatregoers. In order to experience a theatrical epiphany, a number of factors, explored later in the paper, appear to be present in a person’s formative years. This paper aims to shed new light on the formative experiences of theatregoers, and the factors that help create the identity of a theatregoer. It further suggests that by using an appropriate interpretive, qualitative method such as the reminiscence workshop, researchers are able to encourage theatergoers to cast a ‘retrospective glance’ over their lives. By following the phenomenological approach of Schutz (1967, 45-63), theatregoers’ past lived experience can be captured in the form of rich, meaningful data. The next section explains the research method in more detail.
  • References (1)

    Mauss, Marcel (Robert Brain, trans). 1972 [1902]. A General Theory of Magic. Milton Park: Routledge.

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