Roman theatre buildings in the Near East : a nonverbal communication approach to function
Stock, Shauna Elizabeth
This study examines the ways in which a selected number of Roman theatre buildings in the Near East and their urban contexts communicated nonverbally with individuals and groups in daily contact with them. The theatre at Caesarea, the South Theatre at Gerasa, and the large theatre at Scythopolis serve as case studies for the application of a nonverbal communication approach. These three theatres provide a sample representative of the period from the introduction of theatres to the region in the first century BC to the end of the major period of their construction in the third century AD. By applying a nonverbal communication approach, this thesis challenges the view that topography was the sole determining factor in the placement of theatres within sites. The location of theatres was selected to enhance their intended function, including both the way they were used and the way they influenced behaviour. Nonverbal cues were embedded in the structural components and spatial positioning of the theatres and in their spatial interrelationships with surrounding structures. These cues, once received and interpreted, communicated meanings that influenced the behaviour of individuals and groups.