The audience has several tasks and functions in improvisation theatre.
In conventional (staged) theatre, the audience's contribution is in principle reduced to silent spectators and listening: the behaviour of the audience must not directly influence the course of the stage.
Occasionally or rarely there are
- spontaneous emotional reactions like laughter,
- Interlude and final applause, standing ovations,
- Disturbances caused by coughing, sneezing, mobile phone ringing, etc.
- Disapproval by whistling or leaving the room, especially during premieres.
The behavior is rather "ritualized". An interaction between actors and the audience does not take place or only indirectly - for example, when the players feel "inspired" by applause or laughter or are disturbed by noises (mobile phone ringing).
The audience plays a more active role in improvisational theatre.
The moderator addresses the audience directly, acts and reacts.
The audience is often warmed up before the actual play begins. The role of the spectators is also important during the game. Especially by the defaults these actively influence the game happenings. Spontaneous reactions and events in the audience (mobile phone ringing, for example) are often incorporated into the game. But also the participation of individual spectators on stage is desired in certain games. The interaction between audience and players plays a major role - not only due to the aforementioned aspects, but also in terms of atmosphere and energy: the players' joy of playing and their imagination are often strongly influenced by the audience: with a well-meaning, good-humoured, active audience, the evening is usually more successful. Restrained, reserved, disinterested spectators tend to have a "dampening" effect on the players. Of course, it should be to treat the audience in a friendly and respectful manner.