Theatre graphics and graphic theatre : Zich's semantics in posters and publicity



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Theatralia: Journal of Theatre Studies
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords theatre poster; theatre publicity; theatre iconography; visual communication; graphic design; Otakar Zich; Ivo Osolsobě; Gilbert Lesser; Uli Weber; Jakub Gulyás; Alphonse Mucha; Sarah Bernhardt
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Description The essay employs the concept of the 'semantic image' as articulated by Czech aesthetician Otakar Zich in his book The Aesthetics of Dramatic Art in order to outline how theatre publicity relates to theatre production and performance. Theatre graphics, posters, and other promotional materials contain images that substitute or compensate for what is not to be seen and heard onstage in form of 'technical images'; thus, these graphics condition the 'representational images' of dramatic locations.1 Publicity images can be also used to manipulate imagery associations related to actors as well as dramatic characters in order to facilitate their desired reception. This article focuses on the posters produced for Prague's National Theatre opera production of Tramvestie (2019) and two stagings of Peter Shaffer's Equus (1973, 2007) along with Alphonse Mucha's posters for Sarah Bernhardt.
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