Ancient Greek Theatre
Greek Theatre • By the 5 th century B. C. , drama was at its Golden Age • Dramatic festivals and contests were the center of cultural life in Athens. • The Dionysia was an annual festival held in honor of Dionysus. – – 4 -day extravaganza March or April Theater of Dionysus 15, 000 people gathered to watch variety of plays
Ancient Greek Theater • https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=v. NAM 3 Pz. Gcow (5: 31)
Ancient Greek Theater Questions 1. Greeks built theater in honor of what? 2. What was a huge part of Greek theater and performance? 3. List two reasons the Greek theater was designed/built the way it was. 4. Draw a sketch of what theater looked like.
Who were the Greek Gods? • https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=e. JCm 8 W 5 RZes
3 Types of Plays • Three prominent types of plays emerged from the Greeks – Tragedy – Comedy – Satyre (Satires)
Satyrs (Satires) • Also created by the Greeks • A mix of tragedy and comedy, often called “tragicomedy” • Often performed at The Dionysia after hours of tragedies were performed, in order to lighten the mood • Often poked fun at the gods/goddesses • Examples of where we get idea for shows today – Saturday Night Live – Mad TV – In Living Color
Comedy • Comedies for the Greeks are not what we consider comedies today • A comedy in Greek theatre was a play where you could laugh at someone’s blunders or mistakes but it did not cause serious pain or death (according to Aristotle) • In other words, no one dies.
Tragedy • A tragedy is a serious drama featuring a main character, often of noble birth, who strives to achieve something and is ultimately defeated. • The defeat could come from outside forces, or an inner character flaw or weakness called the tragic flaw (something you are born with).
Tragedy • Tragedies evolved around the 5 th century • Oedpius Rex is one of Sophocles’ three “Theban plays”—or, three tragedies about King Oedipus. – Antigone (442 B. C. ) – Oedipus Rex (c. 429 B. C. ) – Oedipus at Colonus (406 B. C. )
Interesting Notes • Greek tragedies never used more than 3 main actors in a play. – Actors would change masks in order to represent a different character • The chorus was made up of 15 dancersingers. • Women did not act in the plays. • Actors who had tragic roles were elevated over others.
Interesting Notes • Most Greek tragedies have a formal structure – Prologue—the opening scene – Parados—the first of Chorus’s lyric songs (odes) – Alternation of dialogue and choral odes – Exodus—concluding scene
• Parados example • https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=BD 8 rm Xw. G 9 ZQ
Greek Theater Terminology • Dialogue – conversation between 2 or more characters • Scene – a stage setting • Orchestra – the semicircular space in front of the stage used by the chorus. • Choragus – the leader of the chorus • Chorus – a company of performers whose singing, dancing, and narration, provided explanation and elaboration of the main character.
• Chorus example: https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Fvpiw D 7 SHSU
Sophocles • Developed form of tragedy to a high art • Plays focused on humans under the influence of the gods • Stories taught moral and social lessons • Oedipus Cycle: – Told the story of a great king who violated the rules of the gods (and society)
Sources • Great Buildings On Line: http: //www. greatbuildings. com/buildings/Theater_at_Epidauros. html