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Theater Nullification

Theater Nullification

Chapter:
(p.163) 7 Theater Nullification
Source:
Murder by Accident
Author(s):
Jody Enders
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226207858.003.0009

This chapter analyzes various instances in which audience members themselves appear to or actually break the theatrical contract. It examines Erving Goffman's theory about theatrical contract and investigates whether there really is such a thing as theater nullification. This chapter suggests that the spectators have the right to reject the rules of the theatrical game and argues that the responses of theater audiences and their action or inaction depend not only upon their own intentions but on their perceptions of what others intend for them.

Keywords:   theatrical contract, theater audience, Erving Goffman, theater nullification, intentions

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