At the beginning of the twentieth century, Antonin Artaud, under the influence of his own ideas for radical theatricalisation of the world as a “theatre of cruelty”, proclaimed the idea for the ability of the stage to communicate its own unique language. He maintained that the physical space of the stage should be filled with the power of images creating a world as well as the symbols through which the viewer sees a world in which he/she feels comfortable. In order for this to occur the actors representing the world must literally be involved in the work/performance (Artaud 1938, 1958, Witkiewicz 1919, 1959). This language presented to the audience in its overall significance, builds in the viewers what is happening to implement it in their imaginary world and instilling in it, aggressively enough, their speech, to provoke its identity to the extreme. As noted further by McAuley:
The audience is one that has to desire its imagination to be effectively stimulated by the signifying that is happening on stage and in this sense, trigger the co-creations of the theatrical semiosis.
The relationship between the actor and space in the process of building a performative text, this powerful semiotic connection with the viewer, shows the performance as a real semiosis. Concerning the problem of stage-audience communication Pamela Howard, in her book on the set design, shares some ideas close to those of McAuley and, although only formally, close to those of Artaud:
“The spatial image on stage is not purely decorative. It is a potent visual image that supplements the world of the play that the director creates with the actors in the space.”
This theatre modelling: staging, dramaturgy/script, mise-en-scène set design, atmosphere, acting presence (verbal and non-verbal, gesture, facial expression, physicality, movement, body sculpturing), music, light, are all, in a deep theatrical sense, defined precisely as mise-en-scène- staging/interpreting-something-on-stage. Mise-en-scène not only specifies the physical space of the theatre performance and its relationship with the actor, but also displays everything that is designed in it as presence (setting), mobility and signification. Objectively reasoning, the concept of mise-en-scène defines a strictly psychological and aesthetic platform for manipulating the physical space of the show as a performative text in a highly emotional and intellectual form determined by the cognitive activity of the audience, or what we call now: viewing expertise. Here we can point out that the mise-en-scène is this theatrical/performative matrix of perception that as a structural system of signification exists only when it is perceived and decoded in terms of meaning and importance by the spectator himself. Actually, mise-en-scène is all what we might call co-creation of theatrical performance, everything prepared by the team of the show to be visible and intellectually intelligible on the stage, but as Pavis notes “not yet perceived or described as a system of meaning or as a pertinent relationship of signifying stage system.”