An introduction to the history of the greek theatre

Theatre of ancient Rome Western theatre developed and expanded considerably under the Romans. The Roman historian Livy wrote that the Romans first experienced theatre in the 4th century BC, with a performance by Etruscan actors.

An introduction to the history of the greek theatre

But for the first audiences of plays like the Agamemnon, Medea and Bacchae, the theatre was the ancient equivalent of Hollywood — mass entertainment and big business. This festival in honour of the god Dionysus lasted about a week, and over half of that time would be dedicated to back-to-back theatrical performances — up to seventeen plays over the course of four days.

During that time audiences would be swept away by the rhetoric of heroes, would marvel at the coordinated dance and song of the choruses, have their sides split by the japery of comic actors and their aesthetic appetites indulged by the whole lavish spectacle.

The theatre in democratic Athens was a forum for exploring the most contentious of political issues. For the duration of the festival law courts would be closed, governmental and municipal business suspended and people who lived in the neighbouring rural townships would leave their agricultural tasks and flock to the city.

The Athenian prisons would even release inmates for the duration of the festival so that they could attend the processions, plays and sacrifices.

In the days leading up to the festival, the whole city would be buzzing with excitement. Workmen brought in by the cartload would begin building the rows and rows of wooden benches on the southern slope of the Acropolis there was no permanent theatre in Athens until the mid-fourth century.

On stage in front of anything between six and twelve thousand spectators, there was nowhere to hide if you missed a beat. Although the deaths of Sophocles and Euripides in BC were felt keenly throughout Greece, theatre continued to grow and evolve. If anything, theatre became more popular and, as it spread beyond Athens and rural Attica, was increasingly important for the Greek economy.

In contrast to the somewhat ambiguous status of actors for much of history, actors in fourth-century Greece were well-respected artistes and celebrities, in demand and obscenely well paid.

The Birth of the City-State

Long before Angelina Jolie ever became a Goodwill ambassador for the UN, actors like Neoptolemus and Aristodemus were performing the duties of ambassador and promoting peace between the warring nations of Athens and Macedon.

In a way lost to us now, going to the theatre in the ancient Greek world was a communal activity and one that was hard-wired into the social, political and religious rhythms of the ancient city. But for all the differences, we can still find those moments on the modern stage when the spirit of ancient theatre lives and long-dead poets speak once more.Jan 11,  · An Introduction to Greek Tragedy National Theatre Discover.

wealth and beauty: The history of the Venetian gondola - Laura Morelli An Introduction to Greek Theatre - Duration. The history of theatre is primarily concerned with the origin and subsequent development of the theatre as an autonomous activity.

Greek theatre a revolution in theatre architecture, and the introduction of the theatrical form of German Romanticism. Greek theater was dominated by the works of five playwrights.

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Many of the great tragedies extant today were prize-winning works by Aeschylus ( b.c. to ), Sophocles ( b.c.

An introduction to the history of the greek theatre

to Ancient Greek Theater. The theater of Dionysus, Athens (Saskia, Ltd.) This page is designed to provide a brief introduction to Ancient . Located within Los Angeles, Griffith Park, the historic Greek Theatre stands as one of the nation’s most beloved and recognized outdoor entertainment venues.

Greek theatre began in the 6th century BCE in Athens with the performance of tragedy plays at religious festivals. These, in turn, inspired the genre of Greek comedy plays. The two types of Greek drama would be hugely popular and performances spread around the .

Characteristics of Greek Theater - Lesson Plan