Ask yourself, empower yourself

Ask yourself, empower yourself

13 April 2019

Emma Rogerson meets the audience at NSDF...and the audience meets itself

Welcome to the National Student Drama Festival! Talk to me about who you are. Where have you come from and who are you with? Why are you here and what are you hoping to see? What do you expect?

[Insert Answer Here] 

Setting the bar nice and low then. Haha. Nah, I’m only joking, it’s gonna be fantastic. So, with that in mind, what kind of theatre *generally* do you enjoy? What do you go to regularly?

[Insert Answer Here] 

And what about the relationship you have with the actors, like when they're performing? What do they give you, and what do you give them in return?

[Insert Answer Here]

Are there any expectations, as audience members, that you find unreasonable or unjustified? What are they – and how do you feel about them? Why?

[Insert Answer Here]

What do you do before a show to prepare? Do you have any pre-show rituals or traditions? How about post-show ones? Tick as many as you like.

[  ] Pre Show

[  ] Mid Show

[  ] Post Show

[  ] Don’t be ridiculous

[  ] Other, please specify: ………………………………….

Will Jackson of Quick Duck Theatre Company will be bringing Magic Hour: The Murder Mystery Disco! to NSDF. He describes the audiences as the “heroes of the show. They’re the protagonist, it’s up to them to look for clues, grill the suspects and solve the case. The audience is the beating heart of it all.”

How does being such a vital and integral part of the show make you feel?

[Insert Answer Here]

As an “integral part” of the show and the festival in general, I’d hate for this to be so one-sided. Anything you want to ask them?

(Insert Question Here)

Nice. They’ll get back to you. Jackson also says: “I love interactive theatre because when it’s done well it prioritises the audience's experience above everything else, which is how it should be. After all, they’re the ones paying to see the show.”

How much of theatre, do you think, should be for your own enjoyment? What are the social duties of theatre beyond audience experience, if any? How highly should the enjoyment of the actor be prioritised, if at all?

[Insert Answer Here]

How does your financial situation affect the theatre you engage with?

[Insert Answer Here]

You don’t have to lie.

[  ] I’m not.

[  ] It’s not that simple.

[  ] Mind your own business

[  ] Okay. Actually: ……………………………..

Okay. I hear you.

Magic Hour is an interactive show – to what extent will you engage with and interact with actors? Why? 

[Insert Answer Here – if you want to. You don’t have to. Up to you. Write a novel in response if you like. Or tweet us @noffmag ;)  Fax me? Your call]

On the initial listings, Things We Do Not Know, from Process Theatre, is the only show listed that provided trigger warnings. They provided them for sexual assault, violence and trauma. As an audience member, how does that alter your expectations about what you’re about to watch?

[Insert Answer Here]

Things We Do Not Know have also said they will provide an usher to enable you to leave the performance if you need to. How does this make you feel?

[  ] Good

[  ] Bad

[  ] Indifferent

[  ] Nothing

[  ] Lots of things but currently unable to articulate them

In a broader sense, what value do you think trigger warnings have, if any?

[Insert Answer Here]

Are You Still Watching, performed by The Arden School, is a show that explores the act of spectating, particularly when watching TV. How do the other forms of media that you engage with influence the way that you look at theatre?

[Insert Answer Here]

Standing Too Close On Our Own In The Dark from Just Club Theatre, is a self-described “half-gig, half-play, half-stand up”. How does this mix of genres affect your role as an audience member?

[Insert Answer / Response / Thoughts / Feelings / A Dance of Words Here]

Noises Off has an open door policy: anyone can write for it, anyone can contribute / offer an opinion or creative / critical piece. What would you like to contribute to that, if anything?


Sorry lol. Kidding.

[Insert answer here]

NSDF brings together creatives from across the country. To what extent is the act of watching and forming an opinion a creative act?

[Now it’s time to do something cool]

Every single person who participates in theatre, by making or watching, brings something different, unique, interesting and valid. What will you bring this year?

[Now. Like, right now. Let’s go. Time to start.]

What will you do?


@noffmag // [email protected]

Photo credit: Giulia Delprato