The performing arts have become a subject of interest in a number of disciplines, each of which—in accordance with its own priorities—emphasizes different aspects of performance practice. The ensuing range of approaches is indicated in the following list.
a) Empirical research is concerned with collecting information about specific performance traditions. Ignoring theoretical hypotheses, it concentrates essentially on notation (of gesture, movement, facial expressivity, stage spaces, declamatory styles), the work of the actor, and the physical organization of the stage. This type of study finds its inspiration in the work of theatre practitioners themselves and for this reason may be unduly constrained by the metaphysical presuppositions inherent in notions such as the eighteenth-century codes of emotion and the performance conventions derived from them (including Lessing’s Hamburg Dramaturgy and the writings of Goethe and Schiller). The tendency in some contemporary work (such as Eugenio Barba’s theatrical anthropology) is to combine theatre practice and analysis: here the focus is no longer particular forms of theatrical expression but more general models of theatricality. Furthermore, twentieth-century dramatists have tended to undertake activities which one might have assumed to be more the preserve of other disciplines. Sociological concerns are one such example: the attempts to attract a working-class audience, to move theatres out of the big city centers, the choice of new types of performance space, community cultural-development activities. Semiotic analysis is evident in the claims of many directors: work on levels of meaning, rethinking the notion of character, physical performance styles, direct appeals to the audience. There is also the increasingly frequent tendency in modern productions for the stage to present its own functioning as part of the show. In addition to all this, the development of new stage technologies involving specialized knowledge (set construction, lighting design) has in turn inspired works which exploit the new technology in architecture, electronics (new types of color filter; remote control; programmed, automatically focused lights; lasers), and computer controls (microprocessors, etc).
b) The social sciences provide specialized methods and approaches which take dramatic text analysis into new domains.
Historical studies examine the conditions determining the theatrical production of a given period, and assist in distinguishing and identifying significant features. This sort of study emphasizes the extent to which stage practices, audiences, objects, and techniques are historically marked, exemplifying the social and ideological structures and “codes” of their time.
Philosophy approaches the representational arts from several perspectives in relation to time and truth (e.g., deception, Sartrean inauthenticity). Henri Gouhier’s study of theatre aesthetics inspired a number of attempts to define the essence of theatricality. More recently, broadly based general studies such as T. Kowzan’s Littérature et spectacle have attempted to situate the theatre in relation to other art forms, and this work is leading to the development of a poetics of theatre types (utopian, comic, etc.) which relates to genre theory. This is the goal that André Veinstein is pursuing.
Interpretative criticism, which derives from both philology and literary criticism, offers a number of theoretical options which facilitate recognition of operative features in the play or performance text (staging, acting, costume, etc.) and allow these to be “read” so as to produce an overall meaning, which may or may not be compatible with the initial interpretative hypothesis.
Dramaturgy, in the contemporary meaning of the word, is concerned with the relation between the means of expression (the narrative material, stage space and time, formal organization) and the vision of the world to be expressed.
Psychology provides a means to examine in greater depth the work of the actor (the more rigorous analysis of the notion of “doubling” and of the “natural” which practitioners have hitherto discussed in intuitive terms) and the experience of the spectator. The means of investigation in this area have been significantly improved (see Maryvonne Saison, Imaginaire imaginable) with the development of psychodrama. The therapeutic value of theatre has been acknowledged, and this has opened the way for both creative work and critical analysis (in theatre, dance, and puppetry). Psychoanalysts have undertaken a number of substantial studies in the field of theatre, especially on acting and on the play.
Sociological methods (interviews, surveys, statistical analyses) are being applied to audience reception: conditions of perception, audience composition (preferences, needs, patterns of cultural consumption), and to the relation between audience and theatre locale. More broadly, these studies situate the socio-cultural role of the theatre in the perspective of the leisure industry and in terms of cultural politics, as well as exploring the connection between the theatrical and daily life (Duvignaud, Goffman, Debord, Bourdieu). Demand analysis (box-office percentages, audience patterns) can be related to economic parameters (size of potential audience in a given area at a given time, the social and economic factors determining demand). The growing body of work in the economic domain can be related to Bourdieu’s theory of habitus.
Semiotics looks at performance activity as a structure made up of sign systems organized into particular meaning-bearing ensembles, and its ambit includes the production process, reception, and performance models. Its aim is double: the study of both how the object of interest functions, and how the sign systems operate within the socio-cultural network. Theatre semiotics can thus be seen as essentially initiatory, encouraging interaction with a number of disciplines and providing a basis for assessing the relevance of their contribution.
c) Some of the “hard” sciences are also expressing interest in the study of performance. Biologists and neurochemists perceive performance as a “behavioral function” (Laborit) which corresponds to genetic programs shaped by environmental factors (simulacrum, ritual, and parade all share comparable rhythmical structures). Mathematicians such as René Thom have shown how these biological systems can be modeled; physics and acoustics—which in the work of Pradier designate theatre a “living science”—have also made notable contributions to knowledge in the last few years.
The means of investigation at our disposal today are constantly being improved; nevertheless they remain constrained by the theoretical hypotheses which underpin them.
a) Questionnaires and other survey methods are geared to study from outside such things as the spectator’s decoding processes. This book will, however, propose some new approaches in this field.
b) Visual recording methods pose the problem of what has been recorded and, more fundamentally, of whether to analyze code by code or within a global perspective. The photograph was historically the first such recording method, but we are now well aware that photography is itself a form of creative expression (écriture) whose “grammar” consists of such things as camera angle, lens type, light intensity, and depth of field. Rather than presenting an objective record of performance, it offers the possibility of re-creation. The same can be said of slides. Taking into account the above-mentioned constraints, still photography nevertheless makes it possible to analyze cross sections or slices of the performance and can also provide evidence of atmosphere or audience mood. Film brings with it the dynamism of the moving image, but this introduces the risk of distortion in the case of a very static performance, as some of Bablet’s experiments have shown. The perception of the theatrical event through the lens of one or more movie cameras and the impossibility of presenting simultaneously both performance stimulus and audience response limit the value of this kind of documentation. On the other hand, the preservation of some trace of the performance can make analysis far more precise; documentation of rehearsals (for example, Vitez’s record of the rehearsals of Vendredi) provides a great deal of insight into the creative process. Video recording is subject to the same limitations as film although the flexibility of the medium makes it more appropriate for precise documentation. Taken together, all these techniques constitute an improvement in documentary capacity in the domain of theatre. Theatre records have been substantially refined as can be seen in some of the collaborative ventures undertaken by libraries and theatre museums (e.g., the establishment by the International Association of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts (SIBMAS) of the pertinent features of theatrical productions, details of which are to be collected and preserved in a computer index). All of this provides the possibility of much more accurate and rigorous studies.
The terminology used by theatre specialists is far from having clear, universally accepted meanings. It would therefore be useful to take an overall look at the theatrical lexicon and to describe the semantic field involved.
The word theatre (from the Greek theatron, a place for viewing, the amphitheatre surrounding the orchestra) designates a social space (theatre building or performance space). In French the word can also be used to refer to the audience (amuser le théâtre) but while the Oxford English Dictionary gives a similar seventeenth-century definition (“A theatreful of spectators, the audience at a theatre”—1602), this is not in current English usage.
The word spectacle (from the Latin spectare, to look) has two definitions. Strictly defined, it designates the visible aspects of the performance; more broadly it evokes symbolically an aspect of the general theatricality which is fundamental to our culture. [Translator’s note: In English the term “spectacle” is used to refer to theatrical productions in which visual display is a dominant feature. A range of terms is needed in English (show, production, and—most frequently—performance) to indicate the semantic field covered by current French usage of the word spectacle.]
The term representation (from the Latin repraesentatio, the action of placing before the eyes, making a picture) is often considered in relation to the Platonic opposition between mimesis and diegesis. It accentuates the notion of performance as a physical event intended to make something present by substituting one thing for another; this paradox leads to consideration of both illusion and convention, and reminds us that theatre constructs meaning without denying the presence of the representing object. In addition, representation obliges us to think of theatre, not as a story told by a narrator, but in terms of a narrative communicated to the spectator through specifically dramatic languages.
The word actor (or the Greek hypokrinomai, to answer on cue, to explain, to play a part) brings in the notion of role and by derivation that of ruse. The word thus bears the mark of the actor’s social status, alternately reviled and rehabilitated over succeeding historical periods. The lexical field associated with the actor introduces both play and theatrical code; today this correlation is seen as indicative of the social function of the actor, that of imitating a role that is not his own, theatricalizing a social role which activates codes other than his own. Like the jester, magician, and madman, the actor confronts society with an unknown “Imaginary” and reveals the codes underpinning this. From the perspective of writing, aesthetics, and ideology, the actor is a kind of freak, defined through play (which may or may not express genuine personal emotion), by social codes, and by the transfer of identity.
A. Means of expression
The physical means of expression, the actual substance of performance, are to a large extent the preferred object of reflection for theatre practitioners; besides reflection on the aesthetic message and the function of the performance, theatre directors tend to concentrate discussion on the following areas.
For some, the text is seen as a written score which precedes the performance; for others the text exists only in its spoken form and in relation to the other performance codes. Repeatable and enduring, the text is transformed by the performance into voice, an ephemeral phenomenon. This transformation justifies the distinction between (written) dramatic text designed to be read, production text (stage direction, didascalia), and theatre text (the ensemble designed to be performed). While theatre history provides many extreme examples of a production text that has a dramatic function (Beckett’s Act without Words, Cocteau’s The Human Voice), it is now normally accepted that a production is composed of the interweaving of dramatic text and what may be called the text of tradition (the corpus produced by earlier directors).
The spoken word poses the problematical question of the power of language, and it therefore has to be approached through its intermeshing with other performance codes:
a) Gesture: either autonomous or as support to the verbal, preceding speech (Marivaux’s lazzi) or following it, on occasion replacing decor. Movement can be symbolic (coded), a visual translation of relationships (Beckett), or a means of constructing place (Meyerhold).
b) Facial expression, basis of focalization, must be seen in terms of the overall aesthetic of the production.
c) Props (objects, costume, make up, hair styles, masks) have to be situated both in terms of the narrative content and of the style of staging (verism, symbolism, neutrality), and they contribute to the building up of layers of meaning.
a) Lighting can be used to assist focalization, to include or exclude the auditorium in relation to the playing space. From oil lamps to projectors, electric light to lasers, technological progress has profoundly modified the contribution of lighting to theatrical expression.
b) The same can be said of sound effects and incidental music. Creating a mood (Antoine) or imposing a rhythm on the action (Wagner) or on a character (Beckett), music can also be used to structure space (Arrabal) and to punctuate the performance.
c) The set poses the problem of the overall scenographic organization: it can be mimetic or symbolic, it can have a dynamic function (Craig) or a static one (Antoine), it can be used to display the plasticity of the human body (Appia), or it can be dispensed with entirely (Copeau, Vilar, Grotowski). Twentieth-century theatre has sometimes been dubbed a “progression toward emptiness.”
The relation between stage and auditorium raises questions concerning theatre aesthetics and actor training. The performance may or may not demand an active response from the audience. (Vilar aimed for communion; others seek provocation, guilt, the questioning of received wisdom, identification, demand for intervention or verification.) The emphasis in actor training varies greatly as a consequence of the performance functions desired: elucidation through theatre of the mechanics of everyday life, translation of universal myths, arousal of emotion, exploration of self, improvisation, acceptance or refusal of chance occurrences, and so forth.
The table below indicates a number of key moments in the development of performance theory as exemplified in the work of some major theatre practitioners.
The preceding description has utilised an empirical selection/listing of detail: it was concerned with the material substance of performance (staging, color, form) rather than the object of knowledge. Simply listing the component elements of theatrical performance in this way omits the signifying relationship—it ignores the work of the spectator constructing meaning by making connections across the spatio-temporal axis of the performance and elaborating structures of coherence. A further problem with this approach is that it suggests that the theatrical sign is constructed and defined exclusively through the prior existence of the performance tradition. Uncritical acceptance of the categories and reductive definitions (which are essentially the product of the directorial vision) would result in failure to confront the question of how the performance-object is constructed and indeed at what level it can be said to exist. While Artaud touched on the problematic involved in these questions, it is worth devoting a little more attention to the aesthetic and semiological dimension underpinning the accompanying table.
This table recapitulates a number of modes of theatrical presentation: pure performance, means of acquiring knowledge, place of fantasy and the fictional Imaginary. At the same time, it renders explicit a number of the variables governing access to meaning:
• interpretative rules derived from the work of the actor
• rules of translation of performance into fiction
• rules imposed by the spectators and governing the other rules.
Theoretical thinking about the theatre revolves around hypotheses of the kind mentioned above. While the concerns may be in essence philosophical or aesthetic, they manifest a number of preoccupations that have recurred throughout the history of Western thought. Lessing (in his Hamburg Dramaturgy) focuses on the intentionality of the actor’s performance even when it falls clearly within the category of mimesis. Diderot’s Paradox of the Actor emphasizes the theatrical nature of identification; his two other essays tackle the visual components (tableaux) of theatrical performance and its relationship to the spectator. Jacob Engel’s Ideas on Gesture and Theatrical Action make explicit the connection between the actor’s emotion and the rhetorical strategies employed. In similar vein, Gomperz situates the actor’s performance in a “semasiology.” We should also mention Valéry (whose essays on dance deal with the question of aesthetic function), Hegel (the actor as material support for the representation), and Rötscher (the relationship between actor and character). There is indeed a fairly direct intellectual line of descent (Diderot and Honzl, Valéry, and Mukařovský) through to the theory developed by the Prague School. Notable contributions made by the latter in 1931 include Aesthetics of Art and Drama (Zieh) and Structural Analysis of the Phenomenon of the Actor (Mukařovský).
B. Sign systems
Members of the Prague Circle were the first to attempt any systematic theorization of the performance phenomenon. J. Honzl, for example, in his exploration of the way theatrical signs function (and in particular their mobility and transformability), rejected approaches restricted to the material reality of the stage: “total art can be seen to negate theatrical expression; the latter is ultimately no more than the sum, the juxtaposition, the ‘coordinated presentation’ of a number of material forms: music, text, actor, decor, props, lighting. The principle of total art, however, involves recognition that the impact of theatrical expression, in other words the strength of the impression received by the spectator, is a direct function of the number of perceptions flowing simultaneously to the mind and senses of the spectator.”
a) The Prague Circle, in the work of Veltruský, drew attention for the first time to the semiotization inherent in the theatrical phenomenon. The process whereby all stage signs are rendered artificial is the basis for the transformation into intentional signs of all phenomena marked by theatrical convention. In the theatre all events, even chance occurrences, are necessarily resemanticized by the spectator: the unintentional sign (Jouvet’s stutter, a chance scratch or blemish) is perceived as meaningful by the spectator. Bogatyrev reinforced the idea of the semiotization of the stage through his notion of the excess or supplement of meaning inherent in theatrical signs as what distinguishes them from the signs of everyday life. Mukařovský, too, explored the structure of the theatrical sign: for him the performance signifier or “text” was associated with a signifier established by the collective mind of the audience.
b) The system of stage meaning was also considered and it was claimed that the denotative/connotative network was activated dialectically by the actor.
c) The overdetermination of the stage signifier—even on the denotative level (Mephisto’s cloak indicating alternatively his submission to Faust and his power over the forces of evil)—led to the study of theatrical codes. Honzl noted the interchangeability of signifiers (human body replacing an object) and the lack of limitations on the class of signifiers to which they can refer. The distinction between static (fixed meanings) and dynamic codes (open range of symbolic meanings) was thus introduced.
d) The Prague scholars were also interested in the hierarchy of codes: the way meanings are generated, the shifting between verbal and non-verbal communication during the performance, led to the notion of a layering of codes.
C. Descendants of the Prague School
In the wake of concepts derived from linguistics, Georges Mounin attempted the analysis of theatrical phenomena in terms of communication. Mounin used the word in its linguistic sense (the intentional transmission of a message from emitter to receiver, perceived as such and entailing a response through the same channel); this was thus applicable only to the fictional world on stage, for the stage/auditorium relationship, seen in this perspective, excludes any response from the spectators (who are reduced merely to applauding, booing, or hissing). This radical linguistic position has since been largely abandoned by those who wish to study the theatre sub specie communicationis. The idealist notion of the gap between pre-production (author, written play) and production (involvement of director, actor, spectator) has been replaced by a materialist approach in praesentia to the performance event. Scholars are exploring the recognition of intention, aberrant decoding (Eco), and the delegation of pleasure (Helbo), and have thus emphasized the reciprocal functions of actor and spectator in the theatrical event. The stage/auditorium relationship having been established as socially marked (linked to a particular audience and its socio-cultural context), studies are currently focusing on the language of theatre perceived in its production or reception functions within the context of a shared social experience. It is in this sense that we now speak of performance codes (conventions specifically applicable to performance, genre, historical period), general codes (linguistic, ideological/cultural, perceptual), or mixed codes (general codes functioning in a specific performance context). The notion of an enunciating collective is a more accurate means of designating the process of communication in the theatre, which can be seen to consist of two elements:
• a discourse or combination of communicative acts (theatrical discourse constitutes a specific genre in that it displays its own rules of operation, renders them explicitly “readable” in their own context while dissociating them from their everyday functions);
• a situation of enunciation which evokes a dynamic set of relationships and contracts (pre-existing or constructed by the performance) determined by the prevailing ideology.
The hypothesis of the minimal unit, dear to narratologists and film analysts, has been examined critically by theatre specialists.
• We will mention for the record the works on dramatic text by Souriau, which derive from the first wave narratological studies (Brémond, Propp, etc.).
• Others have suggested a segmentation based on text/performance correlation. One group in the Italian school (Serpieri) sees performance as an intermeshing of different discourses, the play text itself containing a performative/deictic articulation which provides the basis for performance segmentation and thus determines the structure of the mise-en-scène. The stage space in this view is organized according to the deictic markers contained in virtual form in the text.
• Rumanian scholars (Marcus, Dinu) have approached the question of segmentation with the assistance of mathematical models. Statistical analyses of actors’ movements (relative frequency and appearance on stage of characters) enable them to reduce the performance continuum to a number of “hyper-syllables” or basic units of dramatic action.
• The Paris school (based on the work of Greimas) considers that the problem of defining the theatrical sign (performance units) has not yet been resolved, and is exploring both form of expression and form of content. Whatever the substance of expression (lighting, gesture, movement, visual detail), signification is studied as an autonomous entity. For example, a light/dark contrast associated with a day/night temporal segmentation would be taken into account if it played a structural role in ordering the text of a given segment of the theatrical discourse, in particular that of signaling a narrative progression in the story.
• Peircean semiotics, too, has attempted to regroup the dispersed theatrical signs into a number of functions (iconic, indexical, symbolic) which are applicable to both written text and performance.
The study of theatre has, over the years, included within its ambit numerous performance practices (inanimate signs such as puppets, in the case of the Prague School, circus, opera), practices which in certain forms of dramaturgy may well be combined. It is not surprising, therefore, that with the abandonment of linguistic and narratological models, research has been concentrated on the development of a specific paradigm: performance.
a) Numerous sociologists have noted that social structures are themselves theatrical in nature. Erving Goffman’s studies, for example, which due to the vagaries of critical terminology have been dubbed “dramaturgical analysis,” show that we can all be seen as actors involved in situations liable to involve us in theatrical strategies such as disguise or parade. Our daily lives are governed by interactions, and our cultural codes and models (rituals of interaction) can also be analyzed in terms of game theory; the rituals of carnival at the basis of our official culture (Bakhtin), Duvignaud’s idea of generalized theatricality, and Goffman’s notion of the presentation of self in everyday life all indicate that the very basis of our culture is structured around performance models. Theatrical performance itself, or other institutionally marked forms of performance, constitute particular cases, exemplifying in the here and now the functioning of effects within the performance domain. The problem for theatre analysts is thus to establish the means (markers, conventions, limits) whereby performance proper establishes its own distinctive territory, and how it exploits the ritualized functions which can also be seen to regulate our everyday “reality.”
b) Analogous presuppositions are at work in the field of biology: Laborit includes performance in a group of behavioral functions (rituals, animal parades) controlled from the right side of the brain; theatrical performance proper demonstrates the mechanisms at work which are masked by the very familiarity of the social/cultural structures of daily life; he sees theatre as a means of liberating us from anxiety-producing inhibitions, as a way of reflecting, through its fictions, the suppressed Imaginary, and as compensation for the prohibitions of capitalist, consumer society.
c) Semiotics takes up these various preoccupations while developing a range of methodical approaches:
• the semiotics of Peirce offers a theory of levels of convention constructed by the culture; this is the point of his trichotomies (e.g., icon/index/symbol), which, he argued, govern our systems of signification.
• the semiotics of Greimas is equally concerned with performance processes (le faire spectaculaire) which are made operative through convention in the sequences of discourses (modalities of seeming and being) and in their actantial structure.
d) Theatre semioticians have for their part attempted to relate their definition of performance to the notion of performance discourse made physically manifest in the theatrical event. Three criteria of performance convention are currently the focus of research:
• convention as the basis of theatrical performance to the point of being its fundamental component. The various ritual markers which separate the performance from the real world (bells ringing, lights dimming, curtain) and the reinsertion of the latter into the fictional world (intermissions, pretend nearmisses in circus acts) are inextricably linked;
• convention as related to denegation in theatrical performance: a given choice will separate fiction from referential discourse but almost immediately will reconnect the two: the voice of Jouvet reminds us of the actor himself and his immense prestige but then obliterates this in the service of the fictional character;
• convention as a means of drawing attention to the officially authorized nature of performance discourse. It sets the mechanisms in motion, establishes the limits of the contract, and circumscribes—in terms used by Bourdieu—“the I-we sanctioned by the group.” The illocutionary value of convention (the condition necessary for illusion and fundamental to the function of denegation) opens up the question of the possible worlds thus created. The discourse of performance is typically made up of a duality: (1) assertion of the convention of the lie: this utterance presupposes a veridictory modality (assertion, reference to knowledge about the truth of the real world) which sanctions a regime (convention) whose impact is denegatory (lie or illusion); (2) pseudo-assertion inscribed within a possible world: a conventional utterance of doing contains an overmodalization of seeming which is (pseudo)justified on the basis of a desire to believe (the spectator accepts the lie as though he were accepting the real world).
e) The influence of historians has induced a certain doubt about the deductive hypothesis of a performance language of which all possible performances would be particular manifestations. The danger here is that one might extrapolate from one field of discourse to others, perceiving as definitely given functions (e.g., deixis, ostension, mimesis, projection) which are culture-specific and situated in a given historical context.
Performance theory in its current state seems to have reverted to detailed analysis of the systems of production and reception. Chapter and section headings in the rest of this book provide an overview of procedures in current use, and the summary of these set out below is thus intended to set the parameters of the field as currently defined.
a) Production is concerned with the following:
• the work of the actor, its presuppositions and contractual aspects (I play / I want to listen-see / I comment / I observe)
• the pragmatics of speech acts
• the relationship between fiction and physical performance
• the construction of performance text
• the phenomena of denegation
b) Reception is concerned with the following:
• visual composition and juxtaposition, linear/tabular perception
• the relation between the readable and the visible
• the observer actant (see below)
• enunciation of/by the spectator (re/desemanticizing)
• verbalization by the spectator
The division between production and reception has to be seen as a pedagogical distinction. A number of recent studies have gone beyond this division in favor of the concept of the enunciating collective, and the notion of the observer actant is of central importance to this theoretical formulation. Conceptualized in terms of a cognitive role, the observer represents a specific function, one of the conditions of existence of the performance utterance (l’énoncé spectaculaire). It is indeed the silent presence of the observer—syncretically integrated into the stage reality (in the case of a play within a play) or auditorium (the theatre spectator has a double presence, both seeing and being seen)—that enables the performance act or performance behavior to occur. The watching eye, an indispensable part of the performance, is nevertheless incapable of any intervention that could change its progression, and the notion of the observer actant refines considerably the analysis of identification initiated by Brecht.
The theatre is the focus of a range of diverse intellectual practices and is currently the focus of attempts to elucidate more precisely what constitutes the pleasure of performance, and, more generally, the nature of the theatrical experience.
a) Far from being limited to a semiotic/cognitive experience, the theatrical event provides a double form of intellectual appeal: primary (pleasure, acceptance of the fiction, feelings, expectations) and secondary (logic, interpretation, assessment, memory); there is a movement toward trying to connect the theory of focalization (attention stimulus) with that of emotional response (elementary and complex emotion).
b) Psychologists have used the theory of montage with good results: It is claimed that the spectator, selecting from the available perceptual material, organizes his/her own montage which runs parallel to that presented on the stage. Confronted with the continual flow of visual information, the spectator constructs his/her own “visions” from perceptual elements selected, and this montage (the viewer’s “film”) makes possible a personal narrative verbalization.
The experience of the performance can thus be described, not in terms of communication, but of active participation: focalization of attention through signalling devices and frameworks of enunciation set up by the stage, inferences based on the rhetorical strategies proposed.
Analysis in this field has been becoming increasingly specific:
• the study of particular performance practices (theatre, circus, opera)
• improved definition of codes: the narratological dimension has not been abandoned but recontextualized in the total signifying network; the theory of segmentation—derived from film theory and more appropriately associated with cinematic discontinuity and with the mediating function of the screen—has been progressively abandoned by theatre specialists.
Having acquired a more solid intellectual base, theatre studies can now compare its object of analysis with that of other media:
• with mixed forms, particularly the comic strip, which utilizes in analogous ways the interaction of textual and visual elements;
• with the two-dimensional image and its visual components, which share certain optical and meaning-bearing features with the theatre;
• with television, whose structures of enunciation (continuous story presentation, unification of enunciative disjunctions) and communication (transmission and non-representation, contemporaneity of the referent rather than the signifier) can profitably be explored in connection with theatre.
1. General references
Daniel Couty and Alain Rey, 1980, Le théâtre, Paris, Bordas.
Oswald Ducrot and Tzvetan Todorov, 1972, Dictionnaire encyclopédique des sciences du langage, Paris, Seuil.
Patrice Pavis, 1980, 1987, Dictionnaire du théâtre, Paris, Ed. Sociales.
André Antoine, 1903, “Causerie sur la mise en scène,” in Revue de Paris, April.
Adolphe Appia, 1921, L’oeuvre d’art vivant, Geneva, Atar.
Denis Bablet (ed.), 1978-83, Les voies de la création théâtrale, vols. 1-11, Paris, CNRS.
Gordon Craig, 1911, On the Art of the Theatre, Chicago, Browne’s.
Denis Diderot, 1959, Oeuvres esthétiques, Paris, Garnier.
Johann Jacob Engel, 1804, Ideen zu einer Mimik (1785), in Schriften, vols. 7-8, Berlin; 1971, reprint, Frankfurt, Athenaüm.
Gotthold-Ephraim Lessing, 1886-1924, Sämtliche Schriften, 23 vols., (ed. K. L. Lachmann, under the direction of F. Muncker) Stuttgart, Berlin, and Leipzig.
Constantin Stanislavski, 1936, An Actor Prepares (trans. E. R. Hapgood), New York.
Monique Borie, Martine de Rougemont, Jacques Schérer, 1982, Esthétique théâtrale, Paris, CDU-Sedes.
Henry Gouhier, 1968, L’essence du théâtre, Paris, Flammarion.
Roman Ingarden, 1958, “The Literary Work of Art,” appendix to The Functions of Language in the Theatre, Evanston, Northwestern Univ. Press.
Tadeusz Kowzan, 1975, Littérature et spectacle, Paris and La Haye, Mouton.
Paul Valéry, 1960, Eupalinos: L’âme et la danse. Dialogue de l’arbre, Paris, Gallimard.
André Veinstein, 1955, La mise en scène théâtrale et sa condition esthétique, Paris, Flammarion.
4. Performing arts
Denis Bablet, 1981, Filmer le théâtre, in Cahiers théâtre Louvain, 46.
Jean Baudrillard, 1972, “Requiem pour les médias,” in Pour une critique de l’économie politique du signe, Paris, Gallimard.
Walter Benjamin, 1971, “L’oeuvre d’art à l’ère de sa reproductivité technique,” in L’Homme, le langage et la culture, Paris, Denoël-Gonthier.
Dany Bloch, 1983, L’art vidéo, Paris, Limage 2—Alin Avila.
Patrice Flichy, 1980, Les industries de l’imaginaire, P. U. Grenoble, I.N.A.
André Helbo, 1986, Approches de l’opéra, Paris, Didier Erudition.
Hugues Hotier, 1984, Signes du cirque, Bruxelles AISS-IASPA (Tréteaux).
Kodikas/Code, 1984, 7, “Le spectacle au pluriel,” Tübingen.
Marshall McLuhan, 1968, Pour comprendre les media, Paris, Mame/Seuil.
Edgar Morin, 1958, Le cinéma ou l’homme imaginaire, Paris, Minuit.
Denis Bablet, 1975, Les révolutions scéniques au XXe siècle, Paris, Société Internationale d’Art XXe siècle.
Marvin Carlson, 1985, Theories of the Theatre, Cornell University Press.
David Cole, 1975, The Theatrical Event, Middleton, Conn.
Gilbert Debusscher and Alain Van Crugten (eds.), 1983, Théâtre de toujours, d’Aristote à Kalisky, Brussels, Ed. U.L.B.
Paul Delsemme, 1983, L’oeuvre dramatique, sa structure et sa représentation, Brussels, Ed. U.L.B.
Maurice Descotes, 1964, Le public de théâtre et son histoire, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France.
Guy Dumur (ed.), 1968, Histoire des spectacles, Paris, Gallimard (La Pléiade).
Erika Fischer-Lichte, 1983, Semiotik des theatre, 3 vols., Tübingen, Gunter Narr.
Robert Pignarre, 1967, Histoire du théâtre, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France.
Richard Southern, 1964, The Seven Ages of Theatre, New York.
Jiry Veltruský, “La sémiologie du spectacle à la recherche de son passé,” in A. Helbo, Approches de l’opéra, Paris, Didier Erudition.
Mikhail Bahktin, 1976, “Problema Teksta,” Voprosy literatury, 10, pp. 122-51.
Pierre Bourdieu, 1979, La distinction, Paris, Minuit.
Guy Debord, 1967, La société du spectacle, Paris.
Robert Demarcy, 1973, Eléments d’une sociologie du spectacle, Paris, UGE.
Marco De Marinis, “Theatrical Comprehension: A Socio-semiotic Approach,” in Theater, 15, no. 1.
1984, L’esperienza dello spettatore, Univ. di Urbino, Nov.-Dec.
Jean Duvignaud, 1965, Sociologie du théâtre: Essai sur les ombres collectives, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France.
1965, L’acteur: Esquisse d’une sociologie du comédien, Paris, Gallimard.
1970, Spectacle et société, Paris, Denoël-Gonthier.
1972, The Sociology of Art, London, Harper and Row.
1973, Fêtes et civilisations, Paris, Weber.
1977, Le don du rien, Paris, Stock.
Jean Duvignaud and Jean-Pierre Faye, 1966, “Débat sur la sociologie du théâtre,” in Cahiers internationaux de sociologie, pp. 103-112.
Erving Goffman, 1959, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, New York, Doubleday.
1961, Encounters, Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill.
1963, Behavior in Public Places, The Free Press of Glencoe.
1967, Interaction Ritual, New York, Doubleday.
1971, Relations in Public, New York, Basic Books.
1974, Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organisation of Experience, New York, Harper and Row.
Lucien Goldmann, 1964, The Hidden God, New York.
A.-M. Gourdon, 1982, Théâtre, public, perception, Paris, CNRS
G. Gurvitch, 1956, “Sociologie du théâtre,” in Lettres Nouvelles, 35.
André Helbo, 1983, Les mots et les gestes, Lille, Presses de l’Université de Lille.
1987, Theory of Performing Arts, Amsterdam and Philadelphia, Benjamins.
Ernest Hess-Lüttich, Multimedial Communication II, Tübingen, Gunter Narr Verlag.
Abraham Moles, 1986, “Peut-on construire une sémiologie des actes à propos d’une représentation théâtrale?” in A. Helbo, 1986, Approches de l’opéra, Paris, Didier Erudition.
Jean-Pierre Vernant and Pierre Vidal-Naquet, 1972, Mythe et tragédie en Grèce ancienne, Paris, Maspero.
M. Wolf, 1979, Sociologie della vita quotidiana, Milan, Strumenti Espresso.
C. D. Throsby and G. A. Whriters, 1979, The Economics of the Performing Arts, Victoria, Edward Arnold.
Eugenio Barba, 1982, “Anthropologie théâtrale,” in Degrés 29, Brussels.
Jerzy Grotowski, 1968, Towards a Poor Theatre, New York.
Franco Ruffini (dir.), 1981, La scuola degli attori: Rapporti dalla prima sessione dell’I.S.T.A., Florence, Usher.
Nicola Savarese, 1985, Anatomie de l’acteur: Un dictionnaire d’anthropologie théâtrale, Rome and Carcassone, Zeami-Bouffonneries.
Richard Schechner, 1985, Between Theatre and Anthropology, Philadelphia, Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.
Ferdinando Taviani, 1986, “Presenza energica ed espressione amorosa nella Commedia dell’Arte,” in Teatro e Storia (Dipartimento di Musica e Spettacolo dell’Universita di Bologna), 2.
J. L. Austin, 1962, How to Do Things with Words, London, Oxford Univ. Press.
Petr Bogatyrev, 1971, “Les signes du théâtre,” in Poétique, 8, pp. 517-30.
Diez Borque and Luciano Garcio Lorenzo (ed.), 1975. Semiologia del teatro, Barcelona, Planeta.
Michel Corvin, 1985, Molière, Presses Universitaires de Lyon.
Degrés, 1978, 13, Théâtre et sémiologie, Brussels.
1979, 18, Sémiologie de la musique, Brussels.
1982, 29-32, Sémiologie du spectacle (Actes du colloque AISS-AISPA), Brussels.
Marco De Marinis, 1982, Semiotica del teatro, Milan, Bompiani.
Oswald Ducrot, 1972, Dire et ne pas dire, Paris, Hermann.
Umberto Eco, 1977, “Semiotics of Performance,” in The Drama Review, 21, no. 1.
1978, “Pour une reformulation du signe iconique,” in Communications, 29, Paris, Seuil.
Keir Elam, 1980, The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama, London, Methuen.
1984, Shakespeare’s Universe of Discourse: Language Games in the Comedies, Cambridge, Cambridge Univ. Press.
Etudes littéraires, 1980, 13/3, Théâtre et théâtralité, Montreal.
Algirdas Julien Greimas, 1966, Sémantique structurale, Paris, Larousse.
1970, Du Sens, Paris, Seuil.
T. E. Hall, 1971, La dimension cachée, Paris, Seuil.
1979, Au-delà de la culture, Paris, Seuil.
André Helbo, 1975, Sémiologie de la représentation, Brussels and Paris, Complexe—Presses Universitaires de France.
1979, Le champ sémiologique, Brussels, Complexe.
1983, Sémiologie des messages sociaux, Paris, Edilig.
1985, “Approches de la réception: Quelques problèmes,” in VS, 41, pp. 41-48.
Jindrich Honzl, “Dynamics in the Sign of the Theater,” in Matejka Titunik, pp. 118-127.
Roman Jakobson, 1963, Essais de linguistique générale, Paris, Minuit.
J. Dines Johansen, 1980, “Sémiotique et pragmatique universelle,” in Degrés, 21, Brussels.
Solomon Marcus, 1975, “Stratégie des personnages dramatiques,” in Helbo, 1975, Sémiologie de la représentation, Brussels and Paris, Complexe—Presses Universitaires de France.
Ladislaw Matejka and Irwin R. Titunik, 1976, Semiotics of Art: Prague School Contributions, Cambridge, MIT Press.
Georges Mounin, 1970, Introduction à la sémiologie, Paris, Minuit.
Jan Mukařovský, 1934, L’art comme fait sémiologique: Actes du buitième congrès de philosophie à Prague; 1976, trans. in Mateyka and Titunik, pp. 3-10.
1978, Structure, Sign and Function (ed. J. Burbank and P. Steiner), New Haven, Yale Univ. Press.
Patrice Pavis, 1976, Problèmes de sémiologie théâtrale, Montréal, P.U.Q.
1982, Voix et images de la scène, Presses Universitaires de Lille; 1972, trans. Performing Arts Journal, New York.
Michel Pecheux, 1975, Les vérités de la Palice: linguistique, sémantique, philosophie, Paris, Maspero.
Charles Sanders Peirce, 1931-58, Collected Papers, 8 vols., Cambridge.
Poetics Today, 1981, 2, no. 3, Drama, Theater, Performance, Tel Aviv.
Franco Ruffini, 1978, Semiotica del testo: l’esempio teatro, Rome, Bulzoni.
Herta Schmid and Aloysius Van Kesteren, 1984, Semiotics of Drama and Theatre, Amsterdam and Philadelphia, Benjamins.
John R. Searle, 1972, Les actes de langage, Paris, Hermann.
Alessandro Serpieri, 1977, “Ipotesa teorica di segmentazione del testo teatrale,” in Strumenti critici, 32-33.
Irena Slawinska, 1978, “La semiologia del teatro in statu nascendi,” in Biblioteca teatrale, 20.
Etienne Souriau, 1950, Les deux cent mille situations dramatiques, Paris, Flammarion.
Substance, 1977, 18-19, Theatre in France, Univ. of Wisconsin—Madison.
Anne Ubersfeld, 1970, Salacrou, Paris, Seghers.
1974, Le Roi et le Bouffon, Paris, Corti.
1977, Lire le théâtre, Paris, Editions Sociales.
1979, L’objet théâtral, Paris, CNDP.
1981, “The Space of Phèdre,” in Poetics Today, 2, no. 3, Tel Aviv.
1982, L’école du spectateur, Paris, Editions Sociales.
Jiřy Veltruský, 1976, Drama as Literature, Lisse, Peter de Ridder.
Versus, 1978, no. 21, Teatro e semiotica, Milan, Bompiani.
1985, no. 41, Ricezione teatrale, Milan, Bompiani.
Otakar Zich, 1931, Esthétique de l’art dramatique, Prague, Melantrich; 1977, reproduced in JAL reprint, Würzburg.
Degrés, 1980, 21, Communication et sujet, Brussels.
Sigmund Freud, 1969, “Psychopathische personnen auf der Buhne,” in Studienausgabe, 10, Frankfort.
Octave Mannoni, 1969, “L’Illusion comique ou le théâtre du point de vue de l’imaginaire,” in Clés pour l’imaginaire, Paris, Seuil.
Christian Metz, 1977, Le signifiant imaginaire, Paris, UGE.
Maryvonne Saison, 1981, Imaginaire imaginable, Paris, Klincksieck.
Yves Thoret, 1983, “Etude sémiologique de la fonction scénique dans la relation thérapeutique,” in L’évolution psychiatrique, Toulouse, Privat.
“Place du théâtre dans l’oeuvre de Freud,” in Degrés, 56.
11. Life sciences
Henri Laborit, 1982, “Le geste et la parole: Le théâtre vu dans l’optique de la biologie des comportements,” in Degrés, 29, Brussels.
Jean Pradier, 1982, “Theatrum scientiae / Scientia theatri: Interrogations et propositions,” in Degrés 29, Brussels.