+ From Ritual to Theatre 6 th Century( BC) Greece – Theatre of Dionysus Ampitheatre in Athens Dionysus – god of wine & fertility THEATRES BEGINNINGS Began as ritual dance honoring Dionysus A rectangular area (orchestra) at the base of a hill Ritual became formalized in the 6 th Century (BC) Women no longer allowed to attend or participate. Temple of Dionysus was added at the back of the orchestra and a thymele (altar) Celebration began with the sacrifice of a Tragos (goat)
+ From Ritual to Theatre Continued Consisted of a formally dressed chorus of up to 50 men. Sang with the accompaniment of the dithyramb (musicians) Danced with symbolic gesture related closely to the words being sung. 5 th Century (BC) – Known as the Golden Age of Athens Democratic discourse All male citizens given a voice in State affairs. Thespis - The "inventor of tragedy" was born in Attica, and was the first prize winner at the Great Dionysia in 534 BC. He was an important innovator for the theatre, since he introduced such things as the independent actor, as opposed to the chorus, as well as masks, make up and costumes. First actor Created the first travelling theatre Used wagons which carried into the Middle Ages.
+ From Ritual to Theatre Continued 534 BC – City of Dionysia – Week long drama festival Held in March each year Pompe (procession) Statue of Dionysus paraded around the city center Playwrights introduced 534 BC – First Tragedy Contest (plays announced) 508 BC – Dithyrambic Contest (battle of the bands) added 501 BC – Satyr Plays added 457 BC – Comedy (old) contest added 336 BC – Comedy (new) contest replaces Old Comedy
+ Phynichus Student of Thespis Introduced female characters into drama Played by men in masks Introduced contemporary subjects Won the tragedy contest in 476 BC Phoenissae (The Phoenitians) Chorus of Phoenitian women Celebrated the defeat of the Persian king Xerses at the battle of Salamis None of his works have survived Festival becomes very popular in the 5 th Century BC Temporary wooden benches were added around the orchestra Skene was erected behind the orchestra Skene (tent or hut) – we get our word scene Represented location Became a permanent stone structure in the 4 th Century BC
+ The Greek Playwrights and the Development of Tragedy Of the hundreds if not thousands of plays written in the 5 th Century BC only 32 tragedies from 3 playwrights have survived. Aeschylus (523 BC-456 BC) Diminished chorus from 50 men to 12 Innovated a second actor so that dialogue was possible Multiple roles using masks Wrote about 80 plays but only 7 have survived Agamemnon Most noted play One of a trilogy called The Oresteia Has been compared to Hamlet by William Shakespeare
+ Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC) Out of the hundreds of plays written only 7 plays survive Introduced a third speaking actor Brought dramatic plot closer to tragedy Advance scene painting using painted panels called pinakes Known as the father of Greek Tragedy Most noted work Oedipus Rex Introduced more psychologically complex well motivated characters Introduced the Anagnorisis meaning from ignorance to knowledge Euripides (480 BC-406 BC) Only 18 complete plays survive Employed a more naturalistic and human approach versus the conventional means of the other playwrights Not highly appreciated Introduced strong and intelligent female characters Most noted work Medea
+ Beyond Tragedy Satyr Plays and Comedy 501 BC – Satyr Plays Chorus made up of half man – half beast creatures Playwrights had to write one to go with their tragedy trilogy Drinking, dancing, and vulgar language Cyclops (520 BC) written by Euripides By the 4 th Century BC only one satyr play was produced at the festival 407 BC – five comic writers would present a single play One on each day of the five days of the festival
+ Comedy (Old) Had the same structure as that of tragedy Chorus was made up of non-humans Wasps Birds Frogs Clouds Comedy (Old) presented caricatures rather than the realistic characters of Tragedy.
+ Comedy (Old) Playwrights Aristophanes (448-380 BC) Only surviving comic playwright Out of 40 plays only 11 survive Politically and socially based satire Criticized politics and policies of the time Only time this could have happened Best known play: Lysistrata Anti-war play Women withheld sex from the men until they stopped the war
+ Comedy From Old to New Tragedy was popular when Athens was at it height. Comedy was popular when Athens government was at its lowest or in decline 404 BC – Peloponnesian War is lost to the Spartans 336 BC – Alexander the Great comes to power. Comedy loses its political undertones in favor of more familial and societal relationships The theme of Love is introduced Chorus was diminished even further Only one New Comedy play exists today Diskolus by Menander (342-291 BC) After the 3 rd Century BC – comedy began to decline By the 1 st Century AD – The City of Dionysia Festival ceased.
+ From Greek to Roman Theatre Pericles (495 BC-429 BC) Reigned in the 4 th Century BC Athens was rebuilt on a grand scale Theatre of Dionysus renovated Orchestra is rounded off Hillside excavated and temporary wooden seating is put in. Ten sections of seating, one for each of the ten tribes of Greece Women may have been allowed to sit in one of these sections The first permanent roofed European theatre was built The Odeon of Pericles Odeon of Pericle s
+ Hellenistic Greece Extended approximately from 336 BC to 30 BC Under the leadership of Alexander the Great Greece went through numerous changes. Greek culture began to mix with those of the near East A shift from city-state to a more Monarchic structure A move away from a thought-based society to one that began to become more faith-based Many new theatres are built Everyone was now allowed to attend the theatre including women Plays no longer played exclusively at the Dionysian Festival Theatre of Dionysus is further renovated Wooden seating was replaced with stone seating More like stadium seating The Skene was rebuilt in stone The logeion (speaking place) was added during this time
+ Then Came the Romans Veni! Vidi! Vici! 146 BC – Mainland Greece becomes a Roman Provence Theatre Dionysus is renovated once again By Emperor Nero (61 AD) Stage lowered Skene heightened and adorned with sculptures Orchestra surrounded by a stone barricade to protect spectators from being injured during gladiatorial games. After the 1 st Century AD all existing Hellenistic Greek theatres were converted by the Romans We know know theatre in Greece during this occupation as Greco-Roman Theatres Still have the Greek layout, but now we have the architectural prowess of the Romans introduced with the ornate Skene and the ability to hold gladiatorial combat.
+ The Romans Permanent theatres were not allowed in Rome itself Theatre inspired a sense of Democracy among the people that went against the Aristocratic form of Roman government. 75 BC – first permanent Roman theatre is built within the Roman Empire, in Pompeii. The people of Pompeii were well out of sight of the central government in Rome 55 BC – Theatrum Pompeium First permanent theatre built within the city of Rome itself By Roman general Pompey (106 BC-48 BC) Used as an example for all other Roman theatres Had a retractable roof made of linen
+ The Romans Continued Theatre as a business begins with the building of two more theatres by rivals of Pompey. Built: 11 BC Seating: 20,000 Built: 13 BC Seating: 12,000 Built: 55 BC Seating: 28,000
+ Theatre as Crowd Control Romans began to built more theatres throughout the Empire as a means of crowd control If the people are happy the Empire is happy. Roman theatres were free-standing Roman theatre at Orange Roman Theatre Aspendos Roman Theatre at Bosra
+ The Dark Ages Spanned from the 6 th Century AD to the 13 th Century AD. The fall of the Roman Empire 476 AD sent the world into chaos People relied on the central government in Rome to tell them what to do With no one to tell them what to do the people lost their way The Dark Ages Begin 5 th Century AD Lack of contemporary written history General demographic decline (no expansion of territory) Limited building activity No new theatres built Limited cultural achievements No new plays written
+ The Renaissance Spanned from the 14 th Century AD to the 17 th Century AD 15 th Century AD – First signs of theatre begin to emerge Terence Stages 1486 AD Named after the Roman Comedy Playwright Pulius Terentius Afer (185 BC -159 BC) Beginning of theatre in the Renaissance Polygonal building Small gates with curtains May have been the beginnings of the proscenium arch Painted scenes behind the building
+ Innovators of The Renaissance 16 th Century AD Sebastiano Serlio (1475-1554) Italian Architect Designed a typical Ancient Roman Theatre Used mathematical perspective Enlarged theatrical illusion Was established from the seat of the Monarch L'œil du prince ("the prince's eye") Was never built Built many temporary stages in palace halls His designs became known as Hall Theatres From this position the Monarch Could see everything perfectly
+ Innovators of The Renaissance Continued Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) 1579 – Designed the oldest, still remaining theatre in Europe after the Roman era Teatro Olimpico Located in Vincenza, Italy Founded by a literary society Perspective not set by the position of the Monarch Miniature Roman theatre brought indoors Forced perspective scenery cannot be acted in because of scale Lit by torches and oil lamps The cause of many theatre fires in history This why you never yell Fire! in a theatre 1585 – Oedipus Rex opens at Teatro Olimpico Inscribed on the building: Hoc Opus Hic Labor Est Meaning: This is the task and this is the struggle