Otakar Zich and Prague's 'Semiotic Stage' : reading performance avant la lettre
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Zich's unique views of dramatic work initiated a performance theory avant la lettre. It was, however, as I argue a collective effort of Prague School theorists, whose polemics with Zich and among each other recognized the inherent semiotic potential of Zich's work. Often related to contemporary stage experiments, Zich's ideas explored topics like the mobility and hierarchy of signs, their respective functions, and the position of dramatic text, the concept of the 'actor's figure'. Zich and the discussions he incited are also useful for ideas of transitions between theatre and ceremony that enrich the current approach to the audience, space, and characters on the contemporary stage.
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