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Thinking about Theatre 1)Theatre as a place for «viewing» (vs. theatre for print) Theatron 2) Material Culture Sculpture Vase Painting Decorative Art.

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Presentation on theme: "Thinking about Theatre 1)Theatre as a place for «viewing» (vs. theatre for print) Theatron 2) Material Culture Sculpture Vase Painting Decorative Art."— Presentation transcript:

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3 Thinking about Theatre 1)Theatre as a place for «viewing» (vs. theatre for print) Theatron 2) Material Culture Sculpture Vase Painting Decorative Art

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5 History and Politics The Greek World: Mainland Greece, Asia Minor & The Aegean Island Major Political/Geographic Unit: the polis or city-state 800-600 BC: Transition from Kings to Nobility 650-600 BC: An era of political authoritarianism Approx. 508 BC: Democracy * Political/Legislative Assembly: The Question of Eligibility

6 Religion and Culture A Polytheistic World Gods conceived in Human terms Fate: a question for humans as well as the divine * A society governed by law, logic and democracy? A central tension for the 5th century BC: Are human actions driven by relationships with deities? Are human motivations social? Example: Sacrifice in Euripidies’ Iphigenia in Aulis

7 A Culture of Competition & Tests Competition Physical: Olympian Ideals Rhetorical: The Democratic Assembly * Theatre as Sport: An Athletic-Oratorical Marathon Testing: walking a thin line Self-evaluation vis-a-vis an ideal (to excel honorably) Excessive pride (to disrespect the Gods dishonorably)

8 The City Dionysia Theatre’s emergence: 800-600 BC. Around 534 BC: the City Dionysia - Annual Celebration (March) - Religious/Civic, organized by the Athenian State - Addressing the Greek «world» - A Theatre Contest - Archon Eponymos (the head civil magistrate) - Choregos/Choregoi (wealthy citizen-sponsor) - Playwrights apply to the Archon for a Chorus - Contestants join with 3 tragedies + 1 satyr play

9 Tragedy Tragedy: tragoidia (goat-song) Sacrificial Ceremonies? Aristotle’s Poetics : Dithyrambs? Dionysus Son of Zeus and mortal Semele The divine center of the City Dionysia The Greek God of Fertility The cycle of Seasons/ Life-Span Developments

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11 Theatre Architecture Public Space (Orchestra) vs. Private Space (Skene) * The relationship between Horror and Vision Anticipating & Imagining Violence Ekkyklema: Rolling Platform, revealing «tableaux» Machine: Crane showing characters suspended in air Deus ex Machina The Stage: Part of a Panorama

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14 Theatrical Performance Semi-Professional Male Actors/Athletes Vocal Training The «total» actor: singing, dancing, mask-play Masks: Types vs. Individuals The Chorus 5th century tragdies: approx. 50 members Military Formations: diet & disipline A character: - Setting the mood - An ideal spectator - An ethical framework- Rhythm Music: Flutes, lyres, percussion

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18 Aristotle (384-322 BC) Tragic Form - A well-constructed plot - One action, short time span - Pathos: a destructive, painful act - Catharsis: pity & fear Preserving the Self The cleansing/purifying of emotions - Necessity: the inevitability of history Ethos (Character) vs. Daimon (Divinity manifest in person’s life) Freedom vs. Necessity


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