doxa.comunicación | 30, pp. 127-143 | 129

January-June of 2020

Teresa Logroño Tormo and Ramón Llopis Goig

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

variables examined include factors such as seeking theatrical information in the media, reading theatre critiques and reviews, and the influence of various influential agents who reinforce or inhibit the purchase of a ticket.

In order to carry out the research, an ad hoc questionnaire was used to survey 210 spectators in three theatres located in the city of Valencia. This article is divided into four sections. The first section contains a theoretical proposal that explains the main typologies of theatre spectators in the area of communication and cultural management. The second section is dedicated to the technical and methodological characteristics of the research, specifying the procedures followed for sample selection and statistical analysis. The third section presents the study results, and, finally, the fourth contains the conclusions.

2. Theoretical framework

In recent years, the cultural sector has become aware of the importance of the audience. To a certain extent, spectators have displaced the prominent role of the work of art and captured the attention of cultural managers. The work of art or the cultural product has come to be understood as a social process in which the dimension of artistic creation depends on the public’s recognition (Jiménez, 2000; Ramon and Basso, 2010). At the same time, cultural audiences have become more heterogeneous, and it is increasingly difficult to decipher their consumption habits and practices. New technologies and means of communication are also modifying cultural habits and practices. The new digital paradigm is affecting the forms of cultural participation, given that the changes in a society’s communication modes –oral, legal, audio-visual, digital– significantly affect the access to symbolic goods, as well as the legitimacy of cultural forms (Ariño, 2010: 11). In this context, it is important to find out how and to what extent the various social, economic, and cultural processes currently taking place are leading to a transformation of the theatre audience (Fernández Torres, 2012). For this reason, it is essential to carry out an in-depth study of behaviours, motivations, and perceptions, as well as the factors that facilitate or hinder attendance at a theatre production, in order to design effective actions to promote audience attendance, build audience loyalty, and develop demands for new products (Azpillaga, 2010; Nantel, 2007).

The experts and professionals interviewed by Sánchez de Horcajo (1999) pointed to the diversification of theatre audiences. The theatre critic of ABC newspaper, Lorenzo López Sancho, stated that the theatre has many different audiences, unlike in the 1950s when there were stable theatre companies and the public went to conventional theatres knowing what type of theatre they were attending. Fernández Torres (1996) also described the lack of one unified theatre audience in Spain. In his opinion, in reality there are very different audiences due to the diversification of the offer.

An initial differentiation of the theatre audience –somewhat simplistic– would consist of classifying it into two large categories: the theatre-loving audience, who find aesthetic or educational pleasure in the theatre; and the occasional audience, for whom the theatre is a form of entertainment. Urrutia (1991), reflecting on interest in the theatre, stated that “it is necessary to distinguish between the real spectator, who comes to the theatre every afternoon or evening, and that other implicit (theoretical) spectator the author imagines when preparing his/her text, who may never become real”. The implicit spectator could be considered equivalent to the potential spectator. Thus, Berenguer and Cuadrado