Starter Write down three things that you know about William Shakespeare and his theatre.
An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Theatre First we need to go back two and a half thousand years to 500BCE and Ancient Greece which is where Theatre as we know it today began. Complete Mini Task 1.
The Theatre At Epidavros Near Athens An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Theatre
Artists drawing of what the theatre at Epidavros near Athens might have looked like. An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Theatre
The Parts Of A Greek Theatre An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Theatre Complete Mini Task 2
There were 3-5 main actors and a chorus of 12-15 singers/ dancers. All the actors were men and each actor would be expected to play a variety of roles in any play. However some actors only played serious parts in Tragedy while others were famous for the roles they played in Comedies. Complete Mini Task 3 An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Theatre
Woman Man Old Man Boy Comedy Examples of Greek Theatre Masks
As well as masks ر Ancient Greek actors wore long costumes. This allowed them to change characters very quickly as there were only a few actors in each play to play all the parts. Complete Mini Task 4 The Mask has become the international symbol for theatre. An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Theatre
The Masks, representing Comedy and Tragedy, Have become the international symbol for theatre. Complete Mini Task 5 An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Theatre
We need to jump forward now about 1800 years to the Middle Ages in England. Theatre had ceased to exist after the fall of the Roman Empire. Church services in England were in Latin which ordinary, uneducated people did not speak. To help them understand the Bible, the priests in church started acting out stories from the Bible at festival times.
Medieval Mystery Plays Now there was nothing on the telly and wasn’t going to be for another 700 years, so these ‘plays’ became very popular, so popular that they could no longer hold them inside the churches. An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Theatre
Medieval Mystery Plays The town craft guilds like the Candle-makers or the Shoemakers took over responsibility for performing one scene from the Bible story. For example the Shipmakers would perform the story of Noah and the Ark. These scenes were performed on carts that were taken around the town. They would stop at fixed points and the guild members would perform their scene. Complete Mini Task 6 An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Theatre
Medieval Mystery Plays Copies of the scripts for some of these Mystery Cycles have survived for nearly 1000 years and are still performed today in cities like Chester, York and Wakefield. Complete Mini Task 8 An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Theatre