One of the central tensions that we have discussed in this course is the perception of SYMBOLS by audiences and the PHENOMENON of live beings, actions, and spaces. Audiences are both semioticians (they “read” signs on stage) and affective beings (they “feel” emotions in response to their experiences of sounds, shapes, colors, movements, etc.). In other words, an audience member could read the signs of a policeman’s costume on stage as “authority” or “protection” or “law”, but they could also have an emotional response to the character of the policeman, such as fear or power. Another example: cathedrals can be read as a sign: “Christianity.” But the vast spaces above the nave can also be felt as phenomena: wonder, God, infinity.
With this in mind, I want to you to start a conversation with your group. The first person to start a thread will lead. Describe a live event that is strong in your memory. It could be a play, musical, concert, religious ceremony, magic show, comedy routine, dance performance — just as long as it is live and there is a group of people watching (or participating).