The Stony Silence: Negotiating Empathy and Audience Expectations in Solo Autoethnographic Performance in Audience Research

Michelle Cowin Gibbs, Michelle Cowin Gibbs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Solo autoethnographic performance can be a valuable pathway for how theatre audiences see and listen with performers who are often attempting to challenge the audiences' ways of experiencing grief and loss. Yet, the power of dark emotions can be overwhelming for those audience members who are neither able nor willing to explore these emotions during the performance. In this chapter, I review the pitfalls encountered conducting audience research in solo autoethnographic performance piece , Blunt Force Trauma .
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationImpacting Theatre Audiences: Methods for Studying Change
StatePublished - 2022


  • Solo performance
  • autoethnography
  • audience research
  • dark emotions
  • empathy.


  • Theater and Performance Studies
  • Other Theater and Performance Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality

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