Theatre Talks – Audience Development in Three Perspectives: Marketing, Cultural Policy and Theatrical Communication

Daria S. Nielsen


Theatre Talks emerged as an audience reception research method in Sweden. In this article I describe the evolution of the method and put it into practical perspectives. At first, Theatre Talks provided extensive insights into the experiences of Stockholm theatre audiences in the 1980s. Those results inspired the inventor of the method, Willmar Sauter, to develop a theatre communications model, which changed the academic discourse on the theatrical communication process. In Australia, Rebecca Scollen successfully applied the method for an audience development projects aimed at non-attenders. In Denmark, Louise Ejgod Hansen noticed that Theatre Talks might access a democratic potential of theatre. All of these effective applications of the method inspired me to look at Theatre Talks as an audience development tool from three combinatory perspectives: (1) marketing – its potential for increased ticket sales and changing the behaviour of the customers, (2) cultural policy – for higher diversity and participation in theatre, and (3) theatrical communication – for improved understanding and better satisfaction from participation in the performance.

Słowa kluczowe: Theatre Talks, audience development, audience research, cultural marketing, culture policy / rozmowy teatralne, rozwój publiczności, badania publiczności, marketing kultury, polityka kulturalna

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