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ROMAN THEATRE. Brief Roman History 509 B.C Etruscan (from Etruria) ruler was expelled, and Rome became a republic (just as Athens became a democracy).

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Presentation on theme: "ROMAN THEATRE. Brief Roman History 509 B.C Etruscan (from Etruria) ruler was expelled, and Rome became a republic (just as Athens became a democracy)."— Presentation transcript:

1 ROMAN THEATRE

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5 Brief Roman History 509 B.C Etruscan (from Etruria) ruler was expelled, and Rome became a republic (just as Athens became a democracy). Roman theatre and festivals highly influenced by Etruscan practices

6 by 345 B.C There were over 175 festivals a year 240 B.C The beginnings of Roman theatre recorded The first record of drama at the ludi Romani (Roman Festival or Roman Games). Brief Roman History

7 55 B.C First stone theatre built in Rome by order of Julius Caesar. Brief Roman History

8 Roman Theatre Borrowed Greek ideas and improved (?) upon them Topics less philosophical Entertainment tended to be grandiose, sentimental, diversionary

9 Included more than drama : acrobatics gladiators jugglers athletics chariots races naumachia (sea battles) boxing venationes (animal fights) Roman Theatre

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11 3 Major Influences Greek Drama Etruscan influences, which emphasized circus-like elements Fabula Atellana – which introduced FARCE (Atella was near Naples). Roman Theatre

12 Farce Short improvised farces, with stock characters, similar costumes and masks based on domestic life or mythology burlesque, parody Most popular during the 1st century B.C., then frequency declined

13 Roman Theatre Farce Probably was the foundation for commedia dell ‘Arte Productions included “stock” characters: Bucco: braggart, boisterous Pappas: foolish old man Dossenus: swindler, drunk, hunchback

14 Roman Theatre Pantomime solo dance, with music (lutes, pipes, cymbals) and a chorus. Used masks The story-telling was usually mythology or historical stories, usually serious but sometimes comic.

15 Roman Theatre Mime overtook after 2nd century A.D. The Church did not like Mime Most common attributes of mime: Spoken Usually short Sometimes elaborate casts and spectacle

16 Roman Theatre Serious or comic (satiric) No masks Had women Violence and sex depicted literally (Heliogabalus, ruled A.D., ordered realistic sex) Scoffed at Christianity

17 Roman Festivals Held in honor of the gods, but much less religious than the Greeks Performances at festivals probably paid for by the state. Were often lengthy and included a series of plays or events, and probably had prizes awarded tp those who put extra money in.

18 Roman Festivals Acting troupes (perhaps several a day) put on theatre events. Festivals were sometimes repeated, since whenever any irregularity in the rituals occurred, the entire festival, including the plays, had to be repeated. (known as instauratio)

19 Roman Festivals ludi = official religious festivals these were preceded by pompa = religious procession

20 Roman Festivals ludi Romani oldest of the official festivals held in September and honored Jupiter regular performance of comedy and tragedy began in 364 B.C.

21 Roman Tragedy Characteristics of Roman Tragedy 5 acts/episodes divided by choral odes included elaborate speeches interested in morality unlike Greeks, they depicted violence on stage

22 Roman Tragedy Characteristics of Roman Tragedy characters dominated by a single passion which drives them to doom (ex: obsessiveness or revenge) developed technical devices such as: soliloquies, asides, confidants interest in supernatural and human connections

23 Roman Tragedy Seneca (5 or 4 B.C. – 65 A.D.) only playwright of tragedy whose plays survived Nine extant tragedies, five adapted from Euripides (Gr.) Though considered to be inferior, Seneca had a strong effect on later dramatists.

24 Roman Tragedy Seneca (5 or 4 B.C. – 65 A.D.) WroteThe Trojan Women, Media, Oedipus, Agamemnon, etc., which were all based on Greek originals His plays were probably closet dramas—never presented, or even expected to be.

25 Roman Comedy Characteristics of Roman Comedy Chorus was abandoned No act or scene divisions Concerned everyday, domestic affairs Action placed in the street

26 Roman Comedy Material from only 2 playwrights survived Platus (c B.C.) Terence (195 or B.C.)

27 Roman Comedy Platus (c B.C.) Very popular. Plays include: Pot of Gold, The Menaechmi, Braggart Warrior All based on Greek New Comedies, probably, none of which has survived

28 Roman Comedy Platus (c B.C.) Added Roman allusions, Latin dialog, witty jokes varied poetic meters Developed Slapstick & Songs

29 Roman Comedy Terence (195 or B.C.) Wrote only six plays, all of which survive, including: The Brothers, Mother-in-Law More complex plots – combined stories from Greek originals.

30 Roman Comedy Terence (195 or B.C.) Character and double-plots were his forte Less boisterous than Plautus, less episodic, more elegant language. Used Greek characters. Less popular than Plautus.

31 Roman Theatre Design

32 First permanent Roman theatre built 54 A.D. (100 years after the last surviving comedy)

33 Roman Theatre Design General Characteristics Built on level ground with stadium- style seating (audience raised)

34 Roman Theatre Design General Characteristics Stage raised to five feet Stages were large – ft deep ft long

35 Roman Theatre Design General Characteristics Theatre could seat 10-15,000 people dressing rooms in side wings stage was covered with a room

36 Roman Theatre Design General Characteristics trap doors were common cooling system – air blowing over streams of water awning over the audience to protect them from the sun

37 Roman Theatre Design Scaena “stage house” joined with audience to form one architectural unit

38 Roman Theatre Design Scaena frons front/façade of the stage house was painted and had columns, niches, porticoes, statues

39 Roman Theatre Design Orchestra becomes half-circle was probably used for gladiators and for the display and killing of wild animals if entertainment permitted, people were sat here

40 Roman Theatre Design Vomitoria corridors under the seats that lead onto the orchestra

41 Roman Theatre Design Pulpitum the stage Cavea the auditorium

42 Roman Theatre Design Other structures included: Circus Maximus Ampitheatres

43 Roman Theatre Design Circus Maximus Primarily for Chariot racing Permitted 12 chariots to race at once

44 Roman Theatre Design Ampitheatres For gladiator contests, wild animal fights, and occasionally naumachia Had space with elevators below to bvring up animals, etc.

45 Roman Actors Referred to as histriones, cantores (means declaimers), and mimes – later primarily histriones Mostly male – women were in mimes

46 Roman Actors Mimes were considered inferior; some believed they were slaves. In the 1st century B.C., a "star" performer seems to have been emphasized

47 Roman Actors Style of Acting Mostly Greek traditions – masks, doubling of roles Tragedy – slow, stately, Comedy—more rapid and conversational

48 Roman Actors Style of Acting Movements likely enlarged Actors probably specialized in one type of drama, but did others Encores if favorite speeches given (no attempt at "realism")

49 Roman Actors Style of Acting Mimes – no masks Used Greek or Roman costumes Lots of music


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