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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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Mise-en-scéne – The Representative Convention of Performance


Yet Antonin Artaud at the beginning of the twentieth century, under the influence of his own ideas for radical theatralisation of the world as a “theatre of cruelty”, proclaimed the idea for the ability of the stage to communicate its own unique language. He maintained that the physical space of the stage should be filled with the power of images creating a world as well as the symbols of their presentation through which the viewer mind a world in which he feels comfortable in order to allow the actors representing must literally be involved in the work/performance (Artaud 1938, 1958231, Witkiewicz 1919, 1959232). This language presented to the audience in its overall significance, builds in the viewer’s what is happening to implement it in their imaginary world233 and instilling in it, aggressively enough, their speech, to provoke its identity to the extreme. As noted further by McAuley:

“The actors may have determined the emotional content of a scene, it is their physical actions in the space (gestures, move, looks) that will articulate it for the audience.”234

The audience is one that has to desire its imagination to be effectively stimulated by the signifying that is happening on stage and in this sense, trigger the co-creations of the theatrical semiosis.

The relationship between the actor and space in the process of building a performative text, this powerful semiotic connection with the viewer, shows the performance as a real semiosis. Concerning the problem of stage-audience...

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