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By Jean Alter

Analyzes the fundamental duality of theatre (the play is going on on a level, however the tale is going on at someplace else and time), exploring how the 2 elements either compete and supplement one another, and suggesting the social elements that influence the entire approach.

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A sociosemiotic theory of theatre

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Extra resources for A sociosemiotic theory of theatre

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In this spirit, through development, antithesis, or contact with newly discovered alien forms, classicism begets romanticism, romanticism begets symbolism, symbolism begets naturalism, and so forth. More specifically, Hugo's creation of French drame in the nineteenth century could be explained by the growing influence of the Shakespearean tradition in France; Ionesco's "absurd" dialogue in The Bald Soprano by the popularity of the Assimil method of teaching English; and Mnouchkine's Kabuki staging of Richard II by a deliberate borrowing from an oriental exoticism.

In fact, performances are now called "performance Page 8 texts," or "testo spettaculare," and it would be logical if Planchon's Tartuffe, recorded on video, were to be restaged with various subtle or dramatic transformations. Cinema has shown the way with remakes or alterations of its classics. The question is whether a theatre relying on prior performance texts rather than on purely verbal texts could still qualify as theatre. Obviously, the nature of the "author'' would be different. But a text is a text, and the sequence text-performance would not change.

Nor can one assess its ability to survive the competition of the avant-garde, to resist its revolutionary thrust. But, whether it is coming to an end or not, traditional theatre still dominates the Western stage, manifesting a relatively sound constitution. It may not be as dynamic as at some glorious moments in the past, nor as exciting as the avant-garde, but it is not moribund either. In fact, it still draws most of theatre audiences and makes the most money. One may deplore this popular appeal of traditional theatre.

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