It was 1980 and Antenna Theater had just produced its first show called Vacuum and the show was a big success and among other thing it was
invited to go to Europe.
Chris Hardman, ANTENNA Artistic Director:
…now I’ve always found airplanes to be claustrophobic, there is always a kid crying in the back and you forgot the book you intended to read so you realized that you’re stuck there for hours with nothing productive to do. Then this new fangled bizarre device came out on the market called a Walkman and I decided to get one.
So just as the airplane was about to lift off. I turned on the Walkman and just as the airplane lifted into the sky The Ride of the Valkyries began to play.
Suddenly I realized that there was this amazing theatrical event happening and it was called Syncronicity! The visual and the audio were working in sync and furthermore instead of watching from afar I was literally inside the event.
And thus was born Walkmanology –
the study of the portable audio player
as a theatrical tool.
Walkmonology Audience generally are supposed to sit in their seats while actors strut the stage but what if an audience member could walk though a theatrical environment acting and experiencing the drama first hand while listening to their own soundtrack filled with music and dramatic musings about who they are and what their doing and why their there- in this case the audience would becomes the main actor in the center of the play.
Creation of the Audient Once the audience is free from their seats and able to walk around the stage they stop being a cohesive audience and instead turn into individual preceptors further with headsets on they can receive entirely separate information and come to understand that other audience members may be privy to information they are not. They become actors Hardman has redefined what the audience is, redefining each individual audience as an “audient”.