“A big part of my life”: a qualitative study of the impact of theatre

“A big part of my life”: a qualitative study of the impact of theatre Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact that theatre can have on its audiences, both immediately and over time. Design/methodology/approach – The article evaluates the existing literature on impact and critically reviews a number of benefits models. Through a textual analysis of 42 semi‐structured depth interviews, the paper deconstructs the concept of impact and rearticulates it in audiences’ terms. Findings – Impact emerges as a personal construct articulated by audiences in terms of emotion, captivation, engagement, enrichment, escapism, wellbeing, world view and addiction. Impact is ultimately described as a relative concept, dependent on audience typology and perceived by audiences in holistic terms, incorporating both intrinsic value and instrumental benefits. While catharsis is confirmed as a key enabler of impact, flow emerges as both an enabler and a benefit in itself. Research limitations/implications – As this is a qualitative study with a sample of 42, the results are not representative of theatre audiences in general. Future research might test the findings of this study in a larger, quantitative survey, which might also test the relationships between the emerging variables. Practical implications – There are significant implications here for theatre‐makers and venues. From a marketing perspective, more sophisticated segmentation of audience databases could uncover ‘value ambassadors’ to spread positive word of mouth about the impact theatre has on their lives. Venues and touring companies could also consider how to prepare audiences for impact more effectively and how to minimise distraction and facilitate audience interaction with artists and theatre‐makers. Obvious solutions here are mood enhancing atmospherics and well trained front‐of‐house staff. Originality/value – The originality of this study lies in its audience‐focussed approach. Impact has tended to be constructed from the perspective of producers, marketers and academics, whereas this study invites audiences to describe it in their own, authentic vernacular. These authentic insights are of value to academics, producers, policy advisors, funders and marketers working in the arts, because they help shed light on why people attend the arts and the benefits they derive from them. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Arts Marketing: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

“A big part of my life”: a qualitative study of the impact of theatre

Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Volume 3 (1): 15 – May 17, 2013

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/a-big-part-of-my-life-a-qualitative-study-of-the-impact-of-theatre-vxZsRx7piR
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2044-2084
DOI
10.1108/20442081311327174
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact that theatre can have on its audiences, both immediately and over time. Design/methodology/approach – The article evaluates the existing literature on impact and critically reviews a number of benefits models. Through a textual analysis of 42 semi‐structured depth interviews, the paper deconstructs the concept of impact and rearticulates it in audiences’ terms. Findings – Impact emerges as a personal construct articulated by audiences in terms of emotion, captivation, engagement, enrichment, escapism, wellbeing, world view and addiction. Impact is ultimately described as a relative concept, dependent on audience typology and perceived by audiences in holistic terms, incorporating both intrinsic value and instrumental benefits. While catharsis is confirmed as a key enabler of impact, flow emerges as both an enabler and a benefit in itself. Research limitations/implications – As this is a qualitative study with a sample of 42, the results are not representative of theatre audiences in general. Future research might test the findings of this study in a larger, quantitative survey, which might also test the relationships between the emerging variables. Practical implications – There are significant implications here for theatre‐makers and venues. From a marketing perspective, more sophisticated segmentation of audience databases could uncover ‘value ambassadors’ to spread positive word of mouth about the impact theatre has on their lives. Venues and touring companies could also consider how to prepare audiences for impact more effectively and how to minimise distraction and facilitate audience interaction with artists and theatre‐makers. Obvious solutions here are mood enhancing atmospherics and well trained front‐of‐house staff. Originality/value – The originality of this study lies in its audience‐focussed approach. Impact has tended to be constructed from the perspective of producers, marketers and academics, whereas this study invites audiences to describe it in their own, authentic vernacular. These authentic insights are of value to academics, producers, policy advisors, funders and marketers working in the arts, because they help shed light on why people attend the arts and the benefits they derive from them.

Journal

Arts Marketing: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 17, 2013

Keywords: Arts; Impact; Theatre; Audiences; Arts benefits; Arts marketing

References

  • An architecture of value
    Brown, A.
  • What makes an audience? Investigating the roles and experiences of listeners at a chamber music festival
    Pitts, S.E.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off