Chapter 8

Audiences and Tastes

Although some companies can fill the house, declining attendance rates and aging audiences are serious industry concerns. Art may aspire to more than commerce, but empty seats are bad for art and business. The live experience is a central feature of the performing arts for people on both sides of the footlights. The declining relevance of the live artistic experience in contemporary life presents an enormous challenge. This chapter examines performing arts audiences by art form from three perspectives:

The level of participation as measured by trends in audience size and attendance rates, and how these compare to other leisure activities;

Audience composition, including demographic and psychographic features; ...

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