© 2017

Theatre Aurality


  • Conceptualises the use of sound in theatre and presents it as a key performance tool

  • Explores a range of practitioners whose work pushes the boundaries of auditory theatre

  • Engages with a wealth of theories and philosophies in the field, relating to perception, listening, sonority and vocality


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxviii
  2. Lynne Kendrick
    Pages 1-26
  3. Lynne Kendrick
    Pages 27-50
  4. Lynne Kendrick
    Pages 73-102
  5. Lynne Kendrick
    Pages 103-131
  6. Lynne Kendrick
    Pages 133-156
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 157-164

About this book


This book explores the critical field of theatre sound and the sonic phenomena of theatre. It draws together a wide range of related topics, including sound design and sonic sonographies, voice as a performance of sound, listening as auditory performance, and audience as resonance. It explores radical forms of sonic performance and our engagement in it, from the creation of sonic subjectivities to noise as a politics of sound. The introductory chapters trace the innate aurality of theatre and the history of sound effects and design, while also interrogating why the art of theatre sound was delayed and underrepresented in philosophy as well as theatre and performance theory. Subsequent chapters explore the emergence of aurally engaged theatre practice and focus on examples of contemporary sound in and as theatre, including theatre in the dark, headphone theatre and immersive theatre, amongst others, through theories of perception and philosophies of listening, vocality, sonority and noise.


Theatre sound Sound design Headphone theatre Theatre in the dark Immersive performance Theory of perception Philosophy of listening Auditory performance

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.The Royal Central School of Speech and DramaLondonUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Lynne Kendrick is Senior Lecturer in New Theatre Practices at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, UK. Her publications include: ‘Aural visions: sonic spectatorship in the dark’ in Theatre in the Dark: Shadow, Gloom and Blackout in Contemporary Theatre (2017), ‘Auralite´ et performance de l’inaudible’ in Le Son du Théātre (2016); ‘Aurality, Gestus and the Performance of Noise’ in Sound und Performance (2015), and Theatre Noise: the Sound of Performance, co-edited with David Roesner CSP (2011).

Bibliographic information


“Lynne Kendrick has presented those of us who think about theater and performance a useful challenge, namely to reconsider the uses of sound in this very sonically-ordered set of practices. Noting and describing how theater — despite its name, which suggests it is primarily 'a place of seeing' — has long been in reality a place of hearing and listening, Kendrick gets us to think more broadly about not merely what sound serves in theater but what sound does and can do in theater. Grounded in solid historical and scientific scholarship about both sonic and theater research, Kendrick also presents us with case studies of the most current sorts of sonic practices in theater production and audience reception, from cases using new technologies to cases using new twists on long-standing practices that now demand new forms of audience attention. The result is a book that should challenge a number of the preconceptions dominant in performance and theater studies.” (Professor James Hamilton, Kansas State University, USA)