The following article is part of a slightly longer piece, the first section of which simply expands upon the work in reception theory previously carried out by de Marinis, Greimas, Jauss and others (see bibliography) in order to better define the manner in which the theatrical performance “manipulates” audience understanding. This analysis is followed by a far more detailed discussion, published here, of the opposite movement, the process whereby the audience itself takes charge of the task of assigning meaning to a performance.

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