JEAN ALTER QUOTES

Polish-born author & educator (1925-2012)

The avant-garde no longer simply attempts, as it always must, to carry out transformations within an inherited medium; it claims it is creating a medium of its own, sometimes retaining the old name of theatre, sometimes preferring others: spectacle, show, performance.

JEAN ALTER, A Sociosemiotic Theory of Theatre

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Tags: avant-garde theatre


A future historian of theatre, impressed by recent pronouncements on the state of drama and stage, might call the past two decades, give or take a few years, the Time of Great Experiments. Or, the Age of Transition, during which theatre, as it has been known in the West since the ancient Greeks, finally changed into something different that still might be named theatre, but then might not.

JEAN ALTER, A Sociosemiotic Theory of Theatre

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But theatre is also a public event, a spectacle or a show, attempting to please or amaze the audience by a display of exceptional stage achievements, that is, special performances. In that sense, like sporting events or the circus, theatre serves what I shall call the performance function: it satisfies our natural desire to achieve or witness something extraordinary.

JEAN ALTER, A Sociosemiotic Theory of Theatre

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Tags: theatre