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Volume 23 Numbers 1 and 2 / Spring and Fall 2002

Théâtre et Identité I: Deux Approches au Théâtre Professionnel Régional

May 13, 2008


A comparative study of two theatre initiatives, one in Quebec and the other in northern Ontario's francophone communities, uncovers a surprising degree of intertextuality in the communicative practices deployed by the artists involved as they attempt to align regional professional production with the implicit horizons of expectations specific to their target audiences. Both artistic programs of action seem oriented towards what Juri Lotman has called an "aesthetics of identity" which could explain, at least in part, the unity underlying the recurrent elements identified in the strategies developed to create and to frame the theatrical experience. This two-part study endeavors to describe the artistic practices specific to the "aesthetics of identity," which Umberto Eco associates with current trends in postmodernism. The first article documents the approaches formulated by Yvon Barrette and Martin Fournier for La Troupe du Haut Pays in the Gaspésie region and by Brigitte Haentjens during her involvement with Franco-Ontarian theatre companies. Analysis based largely on the semiotics of communication foregrounds the different types and levels of structural parallels between text and context in relation to three descriptive categories: the artistic self, the cultural interpreter and the concept of theatricality. A second article then undertakes to reformulate these parallels in light of Greimas' theory of modalities and his semiotics of signification. The subsequent model suggests that the intertextuality of the artistic approaches studied stems from the communicative dynamics specific to the paradigm of exchange.