Mark Fortier defines semiotics, or semiology, as:
The study of signs – those objects by which humans communicate meaning: words, images, behaviour, arrangements of many kinds, in which a meaning or an idea is relayed by a corresponding manifestation we can perceive. (2002, p.19)
The idea of ‘signs’ in drama or text that can be read and understood, or de-coded is not a new concept and was written about by Aristotle around 335 BC (1965, p. 31-75). How these signs or codes are transmitted and received (de-coded) has played an important part in twentieth-century cultural theory and applying the study of semiotics in theatre. Text and language are now seen by some theorists as only a part of the sign system in a Theatre performance, with lighting, set, sound, staging, costume, gestures and facial expressions also playing an important part in the performance’s sign system and ultimately how an audience makes sense of these signs.
With its roots in German philosophy, phenomonology is less concerned with the world as it is in an analytical or scientific sense, but how it appears to be and how we react to that perception as an individual. In a sense it is the flipside to semiotics and...