"From ancient times to the present 'spectacle' (the visual aspects of human performance–architecture, scenery, costumes, makeup, lighting, special effects, and staging) has been used to expressively embody and evoke meaning in rituals, ceremonies, and artistic performances. This course [Eye Appeal: Spectacle on Stage and in Life at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro] will examine the use of spectacle as an expressive mode of communication in human performance from antiquity to the present."
(Bob Hansen, 2004)
"In a brief but suggestive passage from his Ten Books on Architecture, Leone Battista Alberti, the fifteenth–century Renaissance poet, philosopher, and architect, sets public performance into a frame of social exchange. His subject being architecture, he arrives in his eighth book at the point of discussing 'Places for publick Shows.' ...
In placing the Actor within the wider category of public shows, Alberti reminds us of the organic connections among all forms of performance. He is at the opposite pole from Aristotle who considered drama a branch of literary art. What Alberti identifies as Show, Aristotle catalogued as an inferior part of tradegy: spectacle. Alberti's practice coincided with and reinforced the practice of his contemporaries and successors. Until the renaissance, most of these were rhetoricians. Their five parts of rhetoric–the number into which the subject was most frequently divided–included delivery. Here, it would seem, was an opportunity to discuss public performance since delivery concerned the manner of speaking. But quite contrary. Writing on delivery illustrates the conventional and persistent subordination of the event of speaking to the composition of speech. So prevalent was this way of ordering the parts of rhetoric and poetics that rare indeed was the person who conceived of performance as an independent entity."
(Bernard Beckerman, 1990)
Beckerman, Bernard. 1990 p.Prologue X. Theatratical Presentation, New York, USA: Routledge.