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Volume 23 Numbers 1 and 2 / Spring and Fall 2002

La Nuit Juste Avant les Forêts: Le Lieu Théâtral Comme Espace D'interaction

May 13, 2008


My response as a spectator to La Nuit Juste Avant les Forêts, presented on February 26th, 1999 in an old boarding house on Ontario Street East in Montreal, has drawn my attention to the impact the theatre venue has on the reception of a performance and most particularly on the spectator's perception. But how does one approach the interrelation among the venue, the spectator and the work presented? How does one speak about what happens to the spectator as he comes in contact with the environment implicated during the representation of a theatrical work? I propose here to study what "I' as spectator have experienced by adopting the following axis: the gaze the spectator lays on the elements that the architect, as well as the author, the conceivers and the actors have put in place to create the theatrical representation. The goal is to show the effect of the environment – considered as a physical space and as a community – on the perception of the spectator and how he acts, in his turn, on what he has retained of the representation. In order to do this, the action of the spectator will be described in terms of the passage he makes through the spaces – concrete and abstract, exterior and interior – he traverses successively to arrive at the chosen representation and to reintegrate the exterior space and his own interior intimate space after the performance.