chapter  7
Speaking theatres: the ‘Olimpico’ theatres of Vicenza and Sabbioneta, and Camillo’s Theatre of Memory
WithOlivia Dawson
Pages 8

The present chapter considers how theatre spaces were intended to act on the audience. By referring to the Olympic theatres of Vicenza and Sabbioneta as speaking theatres, I attribute agency to them, appearing to posit that they –inanimate structures – could say something and, by ‘speaking’, do something: that they could act on the audience. Austin’s theory of the performativity of language, summed up in the title of his book How to do things with words, 1 could be adapted for this occasion to ‘How to say things with theatres’.