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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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Theatre communication and theatrical codes – aesthetic sign convention and spectator perception


As already shown up to this point, from whatever position we examine what is happening on stage, it, in itself, suggests a complex game of presence and absence of theatrical signs that gradually build their own mechanism of variability depending on the space-time limit of their existence on stage. And whatever the way to build this formal independent world may be, it is always ensnared, as a dependence, by a rigorous, unique, essential and quite basic component – the viewer’s position. The overall system of meanings, that the sign constructs make appear on stage, builds density only as a coherent whole and a finite explication of a number of ideas in the mind of the perceiving spectator, as fruit of his/her imagination. Similar position has been upheld by Zich:

“… by emphasizing the imaginary level, /…/ concentrated on the radical proposition that the theatrical sign, as it exists in time and space, coheres not so much in the pre-arranged playscript or score, but in the imagination of the spectator, as a sequence of images.”65

As a consequence, the viewer’s susceptibility does not depend, in turn, on the dynamics of theatrical signs in the process of integrating and combining them into a conscious entity. In this sense, it could be concluded that the very aesthetics of the theatre sign in the main function and quality of a sign is a projection of the personal conscious creative impulse of the perceiver. The sign environment on the stage occurs...

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