Download e-book for kindle: A Formalist Theatre by Michael Kirby

By Michael Kirby

ISBN-10: 0812280555

ISBN-13: 9780812280555

Michael Kirby provides a penetrating glance a theater idea and research. His procedure is analytically finished and versatile, and nonevaluative. Case experiences show this new angle and checklist performances that differently will be lost.

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Additional resources for A Formalist Theatre

Example text

Structural analysis in painting and sculpture tends to be formal. Theatrical analysis tends to be in terms of meaning and content. Like the painting of a still life, for example, a play may be about something, but the formal aspects of its structure are seldom, if ever, analyzed without reference to its content. The purpose here has been to distinguish between informational (semiotic) and formal (nonsemiotic) structures in performance and to suggest an approach and terminology to deal with the latter, which have been overlooked and neglected.

The same continuity may be found in the physical aspects of a production. It is obvious, for example, that the following two plays have quite different structures: ACT ONE A very large, rather dirty room with whitewashed walls . E ~ ACT ONE Scene One Scene Two Scene Three Scene Four The same room . The same room . [The same room} . (He Who Gets Slapped by Andreyev) The gate of the castle. A forest . A hall in the castle. Before the castle. {Pelleas and Melisande by MaeterlinckJ Each setting or place holds together or structures the action for a certain amount of time.

In this way, he emphasizes that the empirical thing we call the "sign" has no meaning in itself; meaning isjoined to it by a code, creating a Ilsign-function": When a code apportions the elements of a conveying system to the elements of a conveyed system, the former becomes the expression of the latter and the latter becomes the content of the former. A sign-function arises when an expression is correlated to a content, both the correlated elements being the functions of such a correlation. (Umberto Eco, A Theory of Semiotics) Thus we have the basic model of theatre-as-communication.

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A Formalist Theatre by Michael Kirby


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