Mimetic and non-mimetic aspects of space in the theatre: some reflections following Jindřich Honzl's "Dynamics of the sign in the theater"

Author: Rokem, Freddie
Source document: Theatralia. 2014, vol. 17, iss. 2, pp. 60-70
  • ISSN
    1803-845X (print)
    2336-4548 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
Jindřich Honzl's seminal essay on the "Dynamics of the Sign in the Theater" from 1940 serves as the point of departure for discussing the borderline between the building (or site) where the performance event takes place and its mimetic dimensions, through which the scenography or scenery as well as the acting and all the other elements of a particular production create a specific fictional world, determined by plot, characters and circumstances. The basic issue I raise here is how and to what extent the semiotic coding of the stage and the auditorium, including its two- and three-dimensional semiotic modelling systems, which initially may seem to be a neutral, non-mimetic feature of such an event are profoundly connected to the fictional, mimetic aspects of a theatrical event, even determining what kind of action and characters can appear in such a space.
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