Audience, Experience & Popular Practices WG

At the heart of this Working Group is the question of experience. What does it mean to participate in performance: both the experience of making and of watching? How can performance (very broadly constituted) help us understand more about everyday life experiences: our identities, our cultures, our communities, ourselves? Established in 2012 as the Popular Performance WG, we have long been exploring phenomena such as pleasure, embodiment, desire, and joy. Our members include historians, practitioners, and contemporary-performance scholars, studying everything from circus to musicals to online stand-up, and from immersive participatory practices to drag. Relaunching in 2022, our Working Group welcomes researchers who are interested in examining the broader relationships between artistry and skill, liveness and mediatisation, and avant-garde and the popular, with particular focus on the connection between performance practices and audience experience. To put it simply: how does performance matter, and to whom? Which varying forms of value do different experiences produce, and whose value-judgments and voices tend to be privileged. Follow us on Twitter: @PopPerTaPRA  

Previous Conference Themes:

  • 2021: Adaptation, Evolution, & Survival (Liverpool Hope)
  • 2020: n/a (conference postponed due to COVID-19)
  • 2019: Mask, Disguise, Persona (Exeter)
  • 2018: Crossing the Line: Boundaries, Borders and Beyond (Aberystwyth)
  • 2017: Localisation, Commercialism, & Globalisation (Salford)
  • 2016: Illusion or Reality? (Bristol)
  • 2015: Risk & Survival (Worcester)
  • 2014: Histories & Traditions (Royal Holloway)
  • 2013: Training the Popular Performer (Glasgow)
  • 2012: First Meeting of Popular Performance Working Group (Kent)

Current Convenors

Kirsty Sedgman

University of Bristol

Kate Holmes

University of Exeter

Calls for Participation

Interim Events

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.