When words and images play: A multimodal analysis of a community theatre performance

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics

Subject Categories

Theatre and Performance Studies


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


English Language Education

Thesis Adviser

Paulina M. Gocheco

Defense Panel Chair

Rochelle Irene G. Lucas

Defense Panel Member

Aireen B. Arnuco
Sterling M. Plata
Jazmin B. Llana
Gina O. Gonong


The study of signs within a society has brought about the disinterest on language seen monomodally. Thus said, language has long been considered as more significant with the aid of semiotic modes surrounding it (Saussure, 1974). However, it was only recently that the distinct area of multimodal studies has begun to be recognized. In the field of linguistics, semiotic resources like gesture, gaze, space visual art and many others have emerged as relevant tools in the meaning-making process. This paper explores a multimodal investigation of a Bugkalot community theatre performance by high school students of Casecnan National High School (CNHS). This qualitative study of community theatre primarily analyzes the transitivity of verbs (Halliday, 1985) in the dramatic text and then examines the visual processes of other modes of performance such as gesture and gaze. Findings show that the text is heavy on material verb processes in expressing the perseverance of the main character to make changes in his life while mental processes that involve all characters emotions stimulate words in their minds which translate to mental, relational and existential processes. The study also affirms that the body gives rise to imagetic language. Gesture and gaze as evidenced by the Action process, Reactional process and Horizontal angle (Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996) play in construing processes of creating meaning onstage. Lastly, this multimodal investigation of a community theatre performance confirms that a dynamic image can be cultivated in systemic-functional terms. With that, and combining Halliday (1985) and Kress and van Leeuwen (1996), the study offers an alternative way of investigating how different semiotic resources share the workload of meaning-making in specific texts by considering them as different form one another and the inclusion of possible modes in viewing a theatre performance.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer disc; 4 3/4 inches


Modality (Linguistics); Theater--Performance

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