This book is the first full-length monograph to focus on Punchdrunk, the internationally-renowned theatre company known for its pioneering approach to immersive theatre. With its promises of empowerment, freedom and experiential joy, immersive theatre continues to gain popularity - this study brings necessary critical analysis to this rapidly developing field. What exactly do we mean by audience "immersion"? How might immersion in a Punchdrunk production be described, theorised, situated or politicised? What is valued in immersive experience - and are these values explicit or implied?
Immersive Theatre and Audience Experience draws on rehearsals, performances and archival access to Punchdrunk, providing new critical perspectives from cognitive studies, philosophical aesthetics, narrative theory and computer games. Its discussion of immersion is structured around three themes: interactivity and game; story and narrative; environment and space. Providing a rigorous theoretical toolkit to think further about the form's capabilities, and offering a unique set of approaches, this book will be of significance to scholars, students, artists and spectators.
Rose Biggin is a writer and performer. She received her PhD from the University of Exeter, UK, researching audience immersion and the work of Punchdrunk, and both writes and makes work on gender, history and language.
1. Immersive theatre, immersive experience.- 2. Interactivity and immersion: theoretical approaches.- 3. Interactivity and immersion in The Drowned Man.- 4. Fan interactivity: communicating immersive experience.- 5. Follow the story: narrative and immersion.- 6. Exploring multi-stories: narrative, immersion and chronology.- 7. Play the story: an approach to narrative in immersive theatre.- 8. Environment and site-specificity: space, place and immersion.- 9. Conclusion.