Sharpe, James (2021) An Examination of Propositionality and Immersion in Theatre. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This research project examines ‘propositionality’ within theatre, specifically within the two theatrical environments of immersive theatre / performance and proscenium arch theatre, in order to offer an alternative perspective for viewing theatre. Permeating the thesis is the research question: what is being actuated within the interplay of objects and/or things in theatre and performance? An examination of how objects communicate actualization offers a method for exploring an audience member / participant’s willingness to immerse. To do so, I insert myself as participant, spectator, performer, researcher, interviewer etc., and use Object-Oriented-Ontology’s (OOO) flat ontological placement to analyse the entertainment of propositional lures created by the interacting qualities of theatrical objects. It offers propositionality as an alternative means of theatrical analysis to semiotics positing that semiotics cannot effectively analyse the difference between a sign in proscenium arch theatre and a sign in immersive theatre.

In chapter one, I define and explain what propositionality is as a means of analysis, and how the enactment of propositional claims differs within the two theatrical environments. In chapter two, I explore and analyse how propositions are enacted and agreed in the performances of Riptide’s The Lucky Ones: Lucy (2018), The Lucky Ones: Lailah (2018), The Great Gatsby (2019), The Murdér Express (2019), Romeo & Juliet (2019) and Dorian (2019) and the effect that the acceptance of sub-propositions has on one’s willingness to immerse in a theatrical world.

FINAL THESIS - Sharpe.pdf - Accepted Version
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