An action on the stage may have a single or multiple conceptual levels. Reason for this work was a series of performances that I saw in which a stage act could have multiple semantic levels. One of them was AMORS, a Shakespearean sonnet-themed love affair, going up by Argyris Pandazara and Stephania Gouliotis. Through the different attitudes of the two bodies all aspects of an erotic relationship are described. For example an upright posture reveals confidence. On the other hand, a sideways posture can reaveal unsecurity, dependency, or faith; The fascination with such spectacles was not straightforward from the outset, and the whole approach was intended to describe a design system that would support multiple semantic levels in order to find the relationship between this incomprehensible charm and design principles.
The present research aims to describe a design system that supports multiple meanings and then identify the typological characteristics of an open system in the theater, that is multiple interpretants. Evripidis’ work Bacchae is selected as a case study: two performances created by different directors, Sotiris Hatzakis(2005) and Theodor Terzopoulos(1986), will be compared.
Terzopoulos is known for the intense, physical quality of his approach to theatre. He founded Attis Theatre group in Delphi and his ‘special’ method, the return of Dionisys, is taught in thirty universities and ten languages. He believes in reviving attitudes. On the other hand, Hatzakis is an academic director who works with actors by the method of imitating attitudes.
The degree of openness of the two performances will be examined. The interpretation of a text depends on the persons reading and on the way s/he reads. The filter through which the two examples will be examined is the director. In the same excerpt of the text, the first verses of Parodus, the two readings are examined through the same means of representation (lexis, melos, opsis). The same tools are used to make the two scenic spaces comparable. Descriptive conceptual schemes expressing more general ways of organizing things are applied to the two scenic spaces so as to map out a typology for the form of the openness of interpretation. Ultimately, the open system is defined through a combination of features, a synergy of conditions that characterize an open-ended representation.