- Slides: 25
Ancient Greek Theatre Where it all started.
• Mathematics played a large role in the construction of these theatres, as their designers had to able to create acoustics in them such that the actors' voices could be heard throughout theatre, including the very top row of seats.
• First seats in Greek theatres (other than just sitting on the ground) were wooden, but around 499 BC the practice of inlaying stone blocks into the side of the hill to create permanent, stable seating became more common. • They were called the "prohedria" and reserved for priests and a few most respected citizens.
Classical Era • This was the time period in which the Greeks invented theatre as we know it. • The Greeks were the first to invent a physical place that was designed for public performance.
Amphitheatre • Greek theatres were actually called amphitheatres. • Amphitheatres were built into rocky hillsides so of course, plays were performed in daylight
The First • They were the first country to use make up as part of their masks. • They were the first to use two or three actors rather than the one that was used in the past.
First • They were the first to have drama competitions to develop playwright’s skills. • The first ones were held during the Festival of Diaonysus.
First • They were the first to make it mandatory for everyone to attend the performances. The performances were government supported, and no admission was charged • They were the first to used painted scenery which was Sophocles’s idea. • They were the first to used comedy and tragedy as dramatic forms.
First Continued 3 Unities • They were the first to use three unities. • Time • Place • Action • They were the first to use chorus which spoke in unison as both narrator and conscience. • Were first to use the word thespian to describe actors.
First • They were the first to use satire to make fun of famous people. • They were the first to use mechanical effects. They created a deus ex machina which was a machine to lift them like gods flying.
First • They coined the following words: • Theatron: watching space; where we got the word theatre • Skene: background; where we got the word scene • Orkestra: part of stage; where we got the word orchestra
Greek Theater • Their ancient theater looked much like our prosceniums.
Theaters • Ancient Greek theaters were very large, openair structures that took advantage of sloping hillsides for their terraced seating. Because of drama's close connection with religion, theaters were often located in or near sanctuaries.
• The death of a character was always heard, “ob skene”, or behind the skene, for it was considered inappropriate to show a killing in view of the audience.
• Greek theatres also had entrances for the actors and chorus members called parodoi. The parodoi (plural of parodos) were tall arches that opened onto the orchestra, through which the performers entered.
Orchestra • The core of any Greek theater is the orchestra, the “dancing place” of the chorus and the chief performance space.
Skene • On the far side of the orchestra was the stage building, or skene (meaning “tent”). • This was a covered structure, originally a temporary wooden building, where the actors stored their masks and costumes and performed quick changes out of the sight of the audience.
Theatron • The audience sat in theatron, the “seeing place, ” on semi-circular terraced rows of benches (in the earliest theaters these were wooden; they were later built of stone). The Greeks often built these in a natural hollow (a koilon), though the sides were increasingly reinforced with stone
Drama • The city of Athens became a significant cultural, political and military power during this period, was its centre, where it was institutionalized as part of a festival called the Dionysia, which honored the god Dionysus. • • Three forms of drama: Comedy Satyr tragedy
Special Effects • ekkyklema, a wheeled wagon used to bring dead characters into view for the audience • trap doors, or similar openings in the ground to lift people onto the stage
Special Effects • Pinakes, pictures hung into the scene to show a scene's scenery • Thyromata, more complex pictures built into the second-level scene (3 rd level from ground)
Acropolis • It was the first stone theatre ever built — cut into the southern cliff face of the Acropolis — and the birthplace of Greek tragedy. The remains of a restored and redesigned Roman version can still be seen at the site today.
• The theatre could seat as many as 17, 000 people, making it an ideal location for ancient Athens' biggest theatrical celebration, the Dionysia.
Sophocles • Was the second of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived. • Sophocles influenced the development of the drama, by adding a third actor.