Erin Hurley and Sara Warner in their insightful study “Affect/Performance/Politics” (2012) remind us that humanities and social sciences today experience a new sweep of theoretical inquiry, focusing on studying affect as a leading mechanism of our cognition and communication, as well as making and receiving art products. This paper takes this theoretical proposition further. I argue that although the theory of affect is still struggling to find its own methodology of textual and performance analysis, when it is paired with semiotic approaches in theatre scholarship, it can offer interesting insights on how theatrical performance capitalizes on its built-in structural or artistic intentionality – Jan Mukařovský’s semantic gesture – to evoke the audience’s emotional responses.
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