Front matter


  • Maria Shevtsova


 The essays collected here reflect some of my main concerns during the past ten years and belong to the sociology of the theatre as I have understood and developed it until now. The areas of my research that I have chosen for the purposes of this volume are productions, audiences and performers. These are essential components of the theatre which, while distinguishing it from literature, dramatic and otherwise, place the theatre firmly in the realm of what in French is exquisitely called les arts du spectacle, "performing arts" in English not quite capturing the precision of the French phrase. Even so, the term spectacle is not monosemantic and thus not crystal clear: it incorporates a wide range of shows (variety and circuses, for example, are spectacles) that leave the term and, with it, the very notion of art, open to debate.