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Architectonics of Theatricality

Theatre Performance in a Semiotic Perspective

Ivaylo Alexandroff

The cultural discourse of theatrical performance defines the theatre sign interaction as an active semiosis. This, in turn, specifies the main objective of the study – the formulation of the basic parameters of this architectonics as a fundament of théâtralité. Since the time of Antiquity the theatre has always been discussing general aesthetic, philosophical, ethical and social issues in the context of a visual image of the specific objects of an intellectual discourse. The book takes a close look at this process of signification, formation of meanings, presentation and interpretation on stage: a theatre performance is a product of an intense sign environment and a major symbol of theatricality.
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Signs and Sign Configurations - the Space of the Performance as a Signifier


In the semiotic decoding process of stage reality one would avoid considerable inconvenience of facing a “wall” of totally inscrutable meaning if one acknowledges the fact that an act of representation of the world, such as theatricality (thèatrаlitè), is considerably more complex than a multitude of other semiotic practices. The stage dissection of individual signs, constituting the subject of semiotic research, becomes a generative process of reflection of outside reality compared to the inside reality (stage reality), thus gaining as a process the status of semiotic investigation rather than the explicit status of literary exposition. It is important to note that in theatre reality a sign as a structure rarely appears as a separate, independent entity and its status of representation, i.e. meaning or indicating something else (Eco [1976] 1979)25 in the space of theatre stage, acquires the dimension of a multi-profile concept of open meaningfulness, a polysemantic structure of meanings, interpreted by the viewer diversely and without restrictions. In any rational moment, a sign may co-exist with other sign/signs in the space and time continuum of the stage and its signified or signifier26 is ← 49 | 50 →subject to specific modification determined by this joint action (interaction). At the very end of the process of receiving the message by the addressee, we face the many options for meaning/meanings laid in it as well as what the sign/signs could possibly mean and how they affect the story of the recipient, his or her competences in this investigation, his...

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