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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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Semantics of interpretation - the stage figure in the context of performance


As noted in previous chapters, in a stage situation the main signification unit of the show is presumably the actor who, as the carrier of the act, is a sign mediator linking individual sign formations in the system and the one instilling sense into performance itself. The construction of the dramaturgical image (dramatis personae) as a represented image, i.e. the very scenic equivalent of life truthfulness or fantasy creations led to the construction of a stage figure which in essence is a complex product, born from both the dramatic and represented image. The Prague structuralists pay considerable attention to the so-called stage figure as a structural element of the actor’s sign (in Mukařovský 1936 [1976] 197847 – dramatic figure, in Zich 1931 [1986]48 – actor’s figure, being defined it as a major component of the performance. But while the dramatic figure of Mukařovský is limited in its actor/dramatic text relation, and in Zich this element mainly affects the viewers’ psychological perception of the actor’s interpretation, i.e. primarily a product of the acting activity; in Veltrusky 197649 (and to a certain extent in Honzl, Bogatyrev, Brušák)50 the stage figure now is a complex structure, a synthesis of elements, linguistic and extra-linguistic signs that rather represent a system in the system of the overall corpus of the performance:

← 61 | 62 →“As a rule, the Stage figure confronts and combines with other stage figures. The figures form a structure within which each has a specific place of its...

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