The concept of "distance" has become quite central to both theatre practice and dramatic theory in the twentieth century. The first chapter quickly surveys some of the more important ideas, from Shaftesbury to Bullough, on the subjects of disinterestedness and distance to identify a characteristic of our relation to art that has been observed by theorists since Aristotle.The purpose of this examination of Bullough is twofold: it permits the descriptions of objections to theories of distance and it raises questions about the theories that need to be answered. Chapter 2 analyzes the ideas of Jean-Paul Sartre concerning distance in the theatre. Like Bullough Sartre is concerned with a description of the psychology of the phenomenon, the nature of the relationship between the art object and the perceiver. Chapter 3 and 4 examine the ideas of those theorists concerned with the techniques of the practical theatre and how these can be used to manipulate the spectators psychological relationship to the theatrical event.
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