Generating Theatre Meaning: A Theory and Methodology of Performance Analysis

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9781845193300: Generating Theatre Meaning: A Theory and Methodology of Performance Analysis
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Now in paperback, Generating Theatre Meaning offers a theory and methodology of performance analysis as an alternative to traditional play analysis. The underlying theme is that theatre performance is a descriptive text generated by the theatre medium, and that the process of generating meaning takes place in the actual encounter between a theatre performance and the spectator. Many new understandings result, including: how the theatre medium is iconic in the new sense of operating images of real or mental models; how this impacts on the verbal text and stage metaphor; how poetic principles structure fictional worlds and bestow unity and wholeness on performance-texts; how a dialogue between the implied director and the implied spectator is inscribed in the performance-text; and how the implied spectator is characterized by functions of framing, reading, interpreting, and experiencing a performance-text. It follows that actors' bodies on stage fulfill functions of textuality, metatheatricality, personification, characterization, and aesthetic effect. The introduction of the book surveys major contributions made to a methodology of performance analysis, particularly throughout the 20th century. Part I is devoted to the semiotic substratum of the performance text, i.e. to the theatre medium and its basic means of generating theatre texts and meaning. The innovation of this approach lies in seeing theatre first and foremost as a nonverbal medium. Part II deals with the poetic structure of fictional worlds described by the theatre medium and the metaphoric and rhetoric structures that operate on the level of relationship between the description of such a world and the world of a spectator. Part III contains analyses of actual performance texts that illustrate the application of principles previously presented. This is the first comprehensive book to address the necessity of a methodology of performance analysis and to take issue with criticism of traditional theatre semiotics.

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About the Author:

Eli Rozik is professor emeritus of theatre studies at Tel Aviv University where he was twice head of the department of theater studies and the dean of the faculty. He is the author of Fictional Thinking, The Language of Theatre, Metaphoric Thinking, and The Roots of Theatre.

Review:

“In conclusion, this brilliant book is an absolute must-read for anyone who wishes to analyze performances not only intuitively, but also systematically and on the basis of a sound methodology. Because of its systematic structure, the plausibility of its arguments and its clear language, it is relevant not only to specialists but also to students. Whoever teaches a class on performance analysis will be well advised to use this book. It will help students of theater and performance studies to understand and locate the problems of performance analysis and provide them with the tools to help them find solutions. It is certain that this book is a landmark in the field of performance analysis.”  —Erika Fischer-Lichte, Freie Universität, Berlin; Comparative Drama, Vol. 13, No. 1, Spring 2009

“Culminating his decades-long work in theatre studies, Rozik offers a far-ranging work that unites and intertwines theatre semiotics, phenomenology, and performance theory. He calls the play-script a ‘deficient text’ that ‘presupposes its final performance.’ This ‘performance-text’ focus does still require semiotic analysis, but semiotics is a ‘substratum’ of performance that requires ‘other structural strata, which require additional poetic, aesthetic, and rhetoric disciplines of research’ for a full understanding. The book opens with a dense, precise, state-of-the-art introduction, and the author divides the chapters that follow into three parts: ‘Semiotic Substratum,’ ‘Additional Strata and Disciplines,’ and ‘Examples of Performance Analysis.’ The most engaging is the last, in which Rozik looks at Robert Wilson’s H.G., Habimah’s production of Euripedes’ The Trojan Women, and Woyzeck 91, directed by Rina Yerushalmi. Rozik’s detailed, unified, ‘scientific’ methodology requires a patient reader, but the effort will be rewarding: the study is thorough, intelligent, and willing to challenge the acclaimed giants of the semiotic tradition. Of interrelated interest are Rozik’s engagement with J. L. Austin’s speech-act theory, Bert O. States’s phenomenology, and Richard Schechner’s performance theory. Highly recommended.”  —Choice

“Eli Rozik has been at the forefront of the development of the analysis of performance for over two decades and is one of the world leaders in developing a paradigm shift within theatre studies away from the studies of play-texts to the text that is performance. This new book, while situating semiotics within a range of possible theoretical tools, charts the development of the theories of performance analysis that have developed from the early semiotic applications.”  —Brian Singleton, former editor of Theatre Research International, and president of the International Federation of Theatre Research; Trinity College, Dublin



“Eli Rozik has written a comprehensive and brilliant study of performance analysis. His book joins a long tradition of scholarship on the performance codes of theatre, stretching from the Prague Linguistic School of the 1930s to contemporary writings in theatre semiotics, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and audience response theory... Drawing upon an impressive range of knowledge, from philosophy and neuroscience to rhetoric and literary aesthetics, Rozik delivers a rich and complex investigation of theatre performance, written in a clear, forceful style.”   —Thomas Postlewait, editor, Studies in Theatre History, School of Drama, University of Washington



“Rozik has developed a semiotic performance analysis that takes into account the variety of ways in which the same play can be presented, treating each performance as a unique event with its own semiotic substrata. Rozik applies his method to several different performances. They are diverse as to place presented and in the form they take, from wordless theatre to installation to “traditional” scripted plays. He considers the play itself, the actors, director and setting making these many units into a concrete whole.” —Reference & Research Book News

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Book Description Sussex Academic Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book offers a theory and methodology of performance analysis as an alternative to traditional play-analysis. The underlying theme is that theatre performance is a descriptive text generated by the theatre medium and that the process of generating meaning takes place in the actual encounter between a theatre performance and the spectator. Many new understandings result, including how the theatre medium is iconic in the new sense of operating images of real or mental models, and how this impacts on the verbal text and stage metaphor; how poetic principles structure fictional worlds and bestow unity and wholeness on performance-texts; how a dialogue between implied director and implied spectator is inscribed in the performance-text; and how the implied spectator is characterised by functions of framing, reading, interpreting and experiencing a performance-text. It follows that actors bodies on stage fulfil functions of textuality, metatheatricality, personification, characterisation and aesthetic effect. An Introduction surveys major contributions made to a methodology of performance analysis, particularly throughout the twentieth century, and problematises the main issues. Part I is devoted to the semiotic substratum of the performance-text, i.e. to the theatre medium and its basic means of generating theatre texts and meaning. The innovation of this approach lies in seeing theatre first and foremost as a non-verbal medium. Part II deals with the poetic structure of fictional worlds described by the theatre medium and the metaphoric and rhetoric structures that operate on the level of relationship between the description of such a world and the world of a spectator. Part III contains analyses of actual performance-texts that illustrate the application of principles previously presented. This is the first comprehensive book to address the necessity of a methodology of performance analysis and take issue with criticism of traditional theatre semiotics. Seller Inventory # AAG9781845193300

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Book Description Sussex Academic Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book offers a theory and methodology of performance analysis as an alternative to traditional play-analysis. The underlying theme is that theatre performance is a descriptive text generated by the theatre medium and that the process of generating meaning takes place in the actual encounter between a theatre performance and the spectator. Many new understandings result, including how the theatre medium is iconic in the new sense of operating images of real or mental models, and how this impacts on the verbal text and stage metaphor; how poetic principles structure fictional worlds and bestow unity and wholeness on performance-texts; how a dialogue between implied director and implied spectator is inscribed in the performance-text; and how the implied spectator is characterised by functions of framing, reading, interpreting and experiencing a performance-text. It follows that actors bodies on stage fulfil functions of textuality, metatheatricality, personification, characterisation and aesthetic effect. An Introduction surveys major contributions made to a methodology of performance analysis, particularly throughout the twentieth century, and problematises the main issues. Part I is devoted to the semiotic substratum of the performance-text, i.e. to the theatre medium and its basic means of generating theatre texts and meaning. The innovation of this approach lies in seeing theatre first and foremost as a non-verbal medium. Part II deals with the poetic structure of fictional worlds described by the theatre medium and the metaphoric and rhetoric structures that operate on the level of relationship between the description of such a world and the world of a spectator. Part III contains analyses of actual performance-texts that illustrate the application of principles previously presented. This is the first comprehensive book to address the necessity of a methodology of performance analysis and take issue with criticism of traditional theatre semiotics. Seller Inventory # AAG9781845193300

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