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TSC Pietropaolo Lecture_ Semiotics and Pragmatics of Stage Improvisation

Toronto Semiotic Circle Lecture Series

TSC Pietropaolo Lecture: Semiotics and Pragmatics of Stage Improvisation

Professor Domenico Pietropaolo

University of Toronto

Drawing on insights gleaned from the breadth and depth of an entire career researching the semiotics of the stage, Professor Pietropaolo presents a synopsis of his newly published book, The Semiotics and Pragmatics of Stage Improvisation. The talk sheds light on “the signs of improvised communication” by presenting textual material from the stage traditions of Italy, France, Germany and England—covering comedic drama, dance, pantomime, dramatic theory, and more. Careful attention is given to the role of improvisation as a compositional practice in the Commedia dell'Arte and related traditions from the Renaissance to the 21st century. The study of improvised dramatic art across theatrical genres is shown to require a multimodal approach, examining non-verbal signs and gestural communication in addition to the spoken word. Far beyond the creation of dramatic texts, the semiotics of stage improvisation involves live discourse and the physical and material conditions of sign-production, including the biomechanical limitations of masks and costumes.

This lecture was hosted in partnership with the Department of Philosophy at Ryerson University and organized by the Meaning Lab in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

A Bit About Me

Date & Time

Wed, 16 November 2016

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EST


Ryerson University

341 Yonge St, POD469

Toronto, ON M5B 2K3

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