Theatre Performance in a Semiotic Perspective
The performance as a theatrical text - morphology of stage signification
Theatre semiotics (from Bogatyrev, Veltrusky, Mukarzovsky, Zich to State and Elam, from Pavis and Quinn to Fischer-Lichte, from De Marinis, Ruffini and De Toro to Alter, Ubersfeld and Aston/Savona) has long served a radical effort to generate the idea of the performance as a theatrical text, which strongly appears to be an innovative step forward in the debate on models of stage signification. It could be assumed that any expression from stage to audience overlaps with a theatrical sign equivalent, which is the direct result of a multivalence of sign systems on stage precisely as a complex sign semiosis: from visual to verbal, from the iconic to the symbolic, from the natural to the conventional (Veltruský 197696, De Marinis 1980, 198297, Pavis 198298, Alter 199099, Fischer-Lichte 1992100, De Toro 1995101, Quinn 1995102, Ubersfeld 1999103, Elam 2002104). The signification (Veltruský 1976)105 defines the dramatic figure as an aesthetic object (stage figure) on ← 89 | 90 →the stage (see: Mukařovský 1978)106 and, in this context, especially Prague structuralists regarded the performance as a complex expressive platform. Otakar Zich in Aesthetics of the Art of Drama [1931, 1986]107 and Jan Mukařovský in An Attempt at a Structural Analysis of a Dramatic Figure 108 based some of their reasoning precisely on the semiotic nature of theatrical representation and communication. As Elam said in his study The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama (2002):
“In 1930s the Prague School theatre theories radically changed the prospects for the scientific analysis...
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