This paper examines the audience experience of engagement with immersive virtual stories and art in general, positioning it within the broader context of audience art engagement studies. The literature review indicates that the audience's experience of engagement is a process in specific artistic and personal contexts. Yet, audience studies lack an approach to empirically study the complexity and dynamics of directed (in narrative stages) engagement. This paper presents an exploratory pilot study of the experience of immersive VR theatre. The comparison of the data of different participants experiencing the same art project demonstrates that even a simple research design integrating bodily data and audience reflection in the context of the specific artwork can bring insights valuable for practitioners and researchers. The paper endorses the use of the mixed-method design in engagement studies.

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