- Slides: 16
Ancient Greek Theater Most ancient Greek plays would bore modern day audiences because, there were no special effects. No dramatic, or gory deaths, facial expressions, there was no sex, and women weren’t allowed to act.
Costumes In ancient Greek Theater actors would wear very interesting things all depending on their role. If an actor were to be playing a women's role, they would attach blonde tresses to their masks. These masks acted as a megaphone to help project their voices to the “cheap” seats. Since these masks cover the actor’s faces they relied on hand gestures and voice inflection to mimic emotions. In addition to masks if an actor needed to increase his size he would wear raised boots, and a padded robe.
These are examples of what some masks would look like. You can see the expressions and hair attached to them.
This is another example of a mask, but this focuses on the mouth piece and how it would act like a megaphone.
Chorus was a group of 12 to 15 men. These men would sing and dance in response to the actor’s words and actions. The first plays were made up of just chorus’s, before Thespis came up with the first speaking parts. Due to Thespis’s idea occasionally actors are called thespians
One character at a time In early theater, only one character would be on the stage at a time. The characters would not interact with each other on stage. At times one character would play all the parts, at first Greeks thought they could not improve this part of theater. That was until Aeschylus thought of adding another character on stage, instead of just one at a time.
Tragedy A tragedy was a play with a downfall of a noble character. Aristotle discovered that depressing plays actually made spectators happier than other plays. They were happier, because experiencing the characters pain rids there own negativity.
This picture is an example of a tragedy. It is clearly a tragedy since the facial expressions on the masks are either scary for the antagonist, or helpless for the victim.
Parody’s normally were plays that would lift people’s spirits up after tragedies. A type of parody was a satyr, a satyr was a crude parody of a myth. Parody’s consisted of fictional characters and were normally humorous.
This is an example of a satyr.
Comedies made jokes on everything from philosophers to fellow playwrights. They made contemporary jabs at daily Athenian life. This showed the Greeks weren’t above crude humor.
These mask are from a comedy, you can tell these are from a comedy because of the expression on them.
This is an example of where a the trilogy of plays would happen.
This is an birds eye view of the lay out of a theater.
Questions? • Why do you think women weren’t allowed to participate in theater? • At first why do you think they only had one character play all the parts? • Why do you think theater was such an important role in Greek life style?