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Agents secrets: Le public dans la construction interactive de la représentation théâtrale
Uppsala universitet, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Språkvetenskapliga fakulteten, Romanska institutionen.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4004-5361
2002 (French)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present study focusses on the theatre audience, and on its’ role in the main­tenance of the theatrical situation. Using video-recorded perfor­man­ces of rela­tive­ly naturalis­tic, modern dramas, the study examines the behaviour of the audience in relation to the unfolding of stage events. Such behaviour is described through close inspec­tion of the sounds the audience pro­duces, consisting primarily of coughing, throat-clearing, and laughter.

The study contributes to the growing body of research surrounding ethno­metho­dological conver­sation analysis (CA). CA methods are used to analyse not only an audi­ence’s overt reactions to stage events, but also the actions occurring outside these relatively short-lived phenomena in the context of a theatre performance.

It is demonstrated that members of the audience refrain from making « vocal noise » during the verbal inter­action of actors, and some of the resources used to achieve this end are described. These include the interpretation of the emerging dialogue, of the relative positioning of actors and of the actors’ use of gesture. Members of the audience are observed making vocal noise around possible com­pletions in the sequence of ongoing stage actions, a placing which seems to make it maximally unobtrusive.

Furthermore, the audience’s laughter is described. It is argued that members of the audience negociate collective moments of laughter with each other and with the actors. In doing so, the audience displays a sensitive awareness of the other members of the audience and the performers on stage.

It is finally suggested that vocal noise on one hand and laughter on the other are differently placed in relation to an emerging action. This relative placing seems to indicate their producers’ different orientations to these actions, according to which vocal noise is to be hidden and laughter to be taken as an overt reaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2002. , 176 p.
, Studia Romanica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0562-3022 ; 65
Keyword [en]
Theatre performance, audience, coughing, throat-clearing, silence, laughter, collective response, conversation analysis, institutional interaction, turn-taking, official and unofficial actions, projection, listening, gesture, acting.
National Category
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URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-68262ISBN: 91-554-5401-1OAI: diva2:417149
Public defence
2001-09-21, Ihresalen, Språkvetenskapligt centrum. Villavägen 4, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2011-05-27 Created: 2011-05-16 Last updated: 2015-01-28Bibliographically approved

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Broth, Mathias
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