By Jean Alter
Analyzes the elemental duality of theatre (the play is going on on a level, however the tale is going on at elsewhere and time), exploring how the 2 elements either compete and supplement one another, and suggesting the social elements that impression the entire technique.
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Extra info for A sociosemiotic theory of theatre
The "Absent" Cause: Point and Meaning of Story 122 5. A Case Study: Mnouchkine's Richard II 132 III: Transformational Processes: Production/Reception 149 1. Theatricality: Theatre as a Series of Transformations 149 2. Textual Transformations of the Text 161 Literary, theatrical, and staged texts 161 Conventional transformation: discounting stage directions 165 Covert transformation: altering the dialogue 168 3. Referential Transformations of the Text 172 Referential tensions in virtual performances 172 Altering virtual performances: wild or probable referents 174 4.
In the absence of rules, whether to be followed or broken, anything goes or may go as theatre as long as it is asserted to be theatre. No authority sets limits; and no one can predict what could be presented and accepted as theatre. Because of its open-ended nature, the process of theatrical creation thus displays a ludic freedom, contrasting with the constraints of a tradition that required a deliberate transgression to bring about any dramatic change. Exploiting that freedom, diverse recent experiments are generating an unprecedented atomization of theatrical forms.
There was no point in duplicating that work. I discarded my early project and, like many others, focused my research on a few discrete theoretical problems. Meantime semiotics of theatre has become a dynamic discipline. A newsletter I was publishing could barely keep up with announcements of new books, articles, and colloquia. But this vitality had a price: a growing dispersion of research, and a certain complacency. It seems today that a tacit agreement on the general nature of theatre semiotics is masking considerable disagreements, that even the most dedicated scholars are reluctant to reexamine, or revise, fundamental concepts that generate misunderstandings.