chapter  3
Interaction and Emergence: An Interactional Semiotics
Pages 23

In chapter 2 ,1 identified many common features of group creativity in jazz and improv theater. I grouped these according to three broad themes: interactional process; structure and innovation; and the audi­ ence. In this chapter, I present a model designed to help us better understand the group phenomena described in chapter 2. The model describes how a performance emerges from interaction among per­ formers. In developing this model, I draw on several fields that study interaction, including semiotics, sociolinguistics, conversation analy­ sis, sociocultural psychology, small group dynamics, and creativity theory. I first developed early versions of this model in the mid 1990s, inspired primarily by jazz improvisation-by my experience as a jazz pianist, my interview study of jazz musicians (Sawyer, 1992), and the work of Paul Berliner (1994) and Ingrid Monson (1991, 1996). I then ap­ plied and elaborated the model in two book-length empirical studies of group creativity: a study of conversation in children’s sociodramatic play in the preschool classroom (Sawyer, 1997b), and an ethno­ graphic study of the verbal artistry of Chicago improvisational theater groups (Sawyer, 2003).