Space in performance : making meaning in the theatre.

By: McAuley, Gay.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Theater--theory/text/performance.Publisher: Ann Arbor, MI : University of Michigan Press, 2000Description: vii, 310 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9780472087693.Subject(s): Performing Arts | Theatre audiences-Psychology | Theatre architecture | Theatres-Stage-setting and sceneryDDC classification: 792.01MCA
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Theater, as distinct from other dramatic media, is essentially a relationship between performer, spectator, and the space in which both come together. Space in Performance examines the way theater buildings function to frame the performance event, the organization of audience and practitioner spaces within the building, the nature of the stage and the modes of representation it facilitates, and the relationship between the real space of the theater and the fictional places that are evoked.<br> The book's theoretical and methodological framework is both semiotic and phenomenological, based in part from the seminal work of Anne Ubersfeld, from direct observation of the rehearsal process, and from documentation and analysis of professional performances. The situation of the academic observer in the rehearsal room has much in common with that of the ethnographer in the field, and contemporary ethnographic practice provides a third theoretical and methodological perspective to this study.<br> Performance studies is an emerging discipline, and it is still evolving appropriate methodologies. The multi-faceted approach adopted here will engage theater and performance studies specialists, those concerned with modes of representation in contemporary culture, and students of theater, semiotics, architecture, set design, acting and performance theory. It also offers a great deal to theater practitioners as well as to spectators interested in deepening their appreciation of theater art. It is written in a simple, accessible way, and the theory always emerges from descriptions of practice.<br> "An excellent study that imaginatively summarizes, synthesizes, and intelligently critiques a wide range of previous theory and practice while making an important new contribution to the field of theater studies." --Marvin Carlson, City University of New York<br> Gay McAuley is Director of the Centre for Performance Studies, University of Sydney.<br>

Reviews provided by Syndetics


McAuley (Univ. of Sydney, Australia) examines "space" as an axial agent of theater practice and aesthetic experience. In seven lucid chapters, she weaves insights from semiotic theory and architectural principle with observations from rehearsal practice and performance paradigm to pattern a remarkable fabric of interlaced concepts. Diverse examples--from Greek amphitheatres to opera houses to "black boxes"--become both the sites and subjects of investigation; the author scrutinizes models not only as functional environments but also as expressive instruments energized by different dynamics of performance. Throughout her engaging analyses, McAuley probes the relationship between the space of performer and the space of the spectator. The subject matter will pique interest among various readers, from students and scholars to actors and architects. This reviewer has adopted the book for future coursework. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates through professionals. P. D. Nelsen; Marlboro College