Undressing the actor : the erotic relationship with the audience

Heim, Caroline L. (2010) Undressing the actor : the erotic relationship with the audience. In Australasian Association for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Conference 2010, 29 June - 2 July 2010, Australian National University. (Unpublished)

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The intimacy and eroticism of the actor’s relationship with the audience is captured in the ecstatic revelation of the actor “being in the moment.” Drawing on the theories of Freud and Sartre and twenty years of performance praxis, this paper explores the exchange of erotic discourse between stage and spectator that not only heightens the experience of the liveness of theatre, but creates a symbiosis that is silently negotiated, agreed upon and sensuously performed during the suspended timeframe of the theatrical event. The actor draws the audience into the erotic transaction through various dramatic devices: the seduction of the soliloquy, the somatic and verbal discourses, the sensuality of light and costuming. The audience responds with its own paralingual and verbal foreplay: the playfulness of laughter, the slapping of hands and, most significantly, the gaze. While the gaze is often perceived as a form of voyeurism, this paper argues that the gaze of consensual agreement between audience and actor can work to unmask inhibitions enabling the actor to create the truth of the moment in complete abandon.

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ID Code: 37317
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Actor, Audience, Erotic, Freud, Sartre, Transference, Gaze
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400)
Divisions: Past > Schools > Drama
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Deposited On: 28 Sep 2010 23:56
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2010 15:57

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