Pandemic Restrictions and the Live Audience-Performer Relationship




Schwarz, René

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The most distinguishing feature of performing arts courses is the culminating presence of an audience. Although direct research about how audiences play a teaching role in performing arts courses and in performing arts in general is scant, there is evidence describing and showing relational aspects between performer and audience in various environments. In an educational context, I propose calling this relationship the Audience-Performer Feedback Loop (APFL). Using this as a pedagogical basis and being faced with Health Authority restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, this project provides technologies and strategic solutions to mitigate and maintain the role in which audiences teach performing arts students synchronously. This paper includes technology tutorials for inexperienced teachers and producers to bring live, at-home, synchronous audiences into their theatres under the watchful eyes of performers who thrive on learning from their audiences in real time. More research is needed to prove how the audience plays a teaching role as a distinguishing feature of performing arts education. Future policies should make direct reference to APFLs in performing arts curricula and be accompanied by strategies and techniques for understanding, identifying, learning, and assessing how APFLs shape a performance and have direct influence on the development and skill of performing arts students.



performing arts, audience, performer, feedback, technology, video streaming, pandemic