Shakespeare describes seven phases of life and in each we are on stage. There are scenes and there are roles to be played. But if the entire world is a stage, who in the world is the audience to which we play?
We are each other’s audience. One of the things it means to be human is to be aware that others see us. And in that seeing we judge. There is no way to get around this, for in reality the stage and the audience are intertwined. One cannot exist without the other.
There are different kinds of audiences. Some are hushed, as they are thrown into the dark and are meant to be mere spectators. Others audiences are vocal, as they cooperate with the actors in the creation of the work.
There is a time and place for each approach. There is a time to be a witness, to respectfully watch and listen. And there is a time to be a co-creator. There are many ways to be a good audience, but whatever the style, the best audience is an appreciative audience. The good audience brings out the best in the performer.