How Do you Solve a Problem Like Fandom: On Fan-Shaming, Behaviour-Policing, and Why They Should End Today

The Fan Experience
10:00 AM, Saturday 25 Jan 2020 (1 hour)
Sutton Center Room
In order to survive, theatre needs to attract new blood and reverse the trend that sees audiences diminishing, aging, and relatively homogenous. In order to thrive, though, we need to turn audiences into fans. Leading UK audience scholar and author of The Reasonable Audience, Dr Kirsty Sedgman examines why theatre fandom has often been ignored or dismissed over history by the very people who should welcome it—with groups from the 19th century Matinee Girls to today's Phans sneered at for liking the wrong kind of theatre, or for enjoying things in the wrong way, or even for damaging the live experience itself. This lecture is a call to arms to take theatre fans seriously, dismantling (ableist, classist, racist) exclusions and welcoming genuine demonstrations of pleasure, enjoyment, joy, and love.
Department of Theatre at University of Bristol UK
British Academy PDF and Lecturer in Theatre