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Greek and Roman Theatre

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Presentation on theme: "Greek and Roman Theatre"— Presentation transcript:

1 Greek and Roman Theatre
A brief historical overview

2 Greek Theatre Theatre Grew out of religious rituals. City Dionysia
- 7 day city wide celebration - celebrated Athens or polis -held in March and April (depending on weather - magistrate selected the choregos (leader of chorus), who in turn selected chorus, music, costumes, and rehearsed chorus. - stories for plays taken from known myths.

3 Festival continued - 3 days devoted to tragedy - Stories in between tragedies were Satyr plays (farces –comedies – where men dressed as half man/half goat) - Prizes award to both kinds of plays

4 Physical setup of the Theatre
The idea for physical theatre, where the plays were performed were taken from the circular harvested wheat fields. Began with temporary sights Acropolis – first large theatre site (constructed of wood, later enlarged in stone) Features: Large open air amphitheatre Seating disconnected from stage Seated 14,000+ Orchestra (or dancing place) contained the Altar to Dionysus

5 Physical setup cont. - seating divided into classes 1. leaders and Priests 2. townsmen 3. slaves let out of prison 4. women/children - Skene building (low building facing audience behind orchestra – used for storage and entrances)

6 Physical set up cont. - very little scenery used Think: Why? Discussion - machina behind skene to raise and lower characters (a crane with a platform) Task : given these clues how would you draw it? Take a moment and sketch it out.

7 Social Life of Polis How did theatre play a part in this?
- citizenship restricted to adult males - Greek society was based on the participation of tribes that made up the governing body (this was overseen by the magistrate that chose the choregos – a privilege) - Privilege to attend the festival to “see and be seen”. The city state knew then how important you were.

8 Acting Not as we know it! - dithyramabic chorus (drama originated in the singing to praise the Gods – chanting. We are unsure what it sounded like. But it was done in the “dancing place”). Made up of 50 men but later reduced to 15, where it was to remain. - Thespis (1st actor to step from the chorus of men – 6th century)

9 Acting cont. - 2nd actor shortly followed, to give 1st actor someone to talk to. Dialogue!!! - 3rd actor followed that, for conflict. This actor could solve problems or present problems. - all characters played by men - female characters played by men in both tragedy and comedy. NO WOMEN ALLOWED. THINK: WHY? DISCUSSION

10 Acting cont. Masks: - They played a very important part in the acting of the tragedy or comedy. - They were a major part of the costume - Showed who character was (man or woman, old or young) - Showed the character emotions (happy, sad, etc.)

11 Where do we find masks used today?
“Food for thought” Where do we find masks used today?

12 Tragic Dramatists Aeschylus
First important Greek playwright and considered the first important Western dramatist. Introduced 2nd actor Reduced chorus from 50 to 12 Master of the trilogy

13 Trilogy What is it? 3 plays using some of the same characters or same family or situations.

14 Sophocles Raised chorus to 15 where it remained Added 3rd actor. More involved scenes could be written.

15 Last playwright!! Euripides Considered the most modern of the three.
He portrayed woman in a sympathetic manner He treated the Gods with skepticism

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