The article presents the ethnographic account of a particular audience development project, T.A.S.K. (Theatre Audience Specific Keys), implemented by the Teatro della Tosse (Genova) as an original initiative focused on the engagement of young non-attenders (19-25). In particular, the research aims to understand the lived experience of all the people involved in the project, and the reactions of nonattenders to a range of live performances they experienced under study conditions. The T.A.S.K. project has resulted in much more than a data-gathering or datagenerating exercise. Instead it has become a form of participatory enquiry, where both the T.A.S.K. members and the audience members were actively engaged in the process of making sense of their experiences for themselves.
Keywords: Audience development, audiences, theatre, experience, ethnography, participant observation.