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GREEK THEATRE THE BIRTHPLACE OF WESTERN DRAMA. First Definite Record of Drama in Greece: 534 B.C. F Contest for Best Tragedy instituted F Winner of first.

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Presentation on theme: "GREEK THEATRE THE BIRTHPLACE OF WESTERN DRAMA. First Definite Record of Drama in Greece: 534 B.C. F Contest for Best Tragedy instituted F Winner of first."— Presentation transcript:

1 GREEK THEATRE THE BIRTHPLACE OF WESTERN DRAMA

2 First Definite Record of Drama in Greece: 534 B.C. F Contest for Best Tragedy instituted F Winner of first contest is Thespis, who also acted in the performance F Actors today are known as “Thespians”, in honor of the first known Greek actor.

3 “HYPOKRITE” GREEK WORD FOR ACTOR, MEANS “WEARER OF MASKS”

4 CHORUS Ranged in number from 50 to 15 Athenian citizens, not professional actors. Offer a sense of rich spectacle, important background and summary information that facilitates an audience's ability to follow the live performance; they provide commentary about and underline main themes animating the action, and they model an ideal audience’s response to the unfolding drama.

5 CHORUS It was the rhythmic dance and chants of the chorus, positioned always to mediate the physical space separating audience and actor, that evoked the visionary experience that was the very essence of tragedy.

6 GREEK CHORUS F Choral songs were divided into stanzas: strophe (turn), antistrophe (turn the other way), and epode (added song) that were sung while the chorus moved or danced. F While singing or chanting the strophe the chorus moved from left to right; while singing the antistrophe they moved from right to left.

7 GREEK THEATRE STRUCTURES F “Amphitheatres” F Built onto hillsides F Originally temporary wooden structures, later made of stone F Were considered a form of temple F Some held up to 30,000 spectators

8 Parts of a Greek Theatre F ORKESTRA: circular acting space at center, translates as “dancing place” F THEATRON: (thay-AH-tron) Spectator seating; “seeing place” F SKENE: (SKAY-nay) Stage building behind orkestra; where we get the words “scene” and “scenery”

9 SKENE F STAGE HOUSE: provides scenic background, a place to change costumes, place to exit F Had one to three doors F May have been raised up off ground level F Developed a second story in later years

10 Side View: Orkestra and Theatron

11 Orkestra with Skene

12 Teatron

13 Ancient Greek Masks F Masks were used for two reasons: –1. To help the audience, especially those seated far from the stage, understand the dominant emotion of the character in the scene. –2. The structure of the mask acted as a megaphone to help the actor’s voice project.

14 GREEK PLAYWRIGHTS F Only 5 playwrights and 45 plays survive F Early “plays” were no more than a discourse between one actor (“Protagonist”) and the chorus. F Later a second actor was added (“Antagonist”)

15 SOPHOCLES: B.C. F Considered greatest Greek dramatist, wrote tragedies F Created the Third Actor which reduced the importance of the chorus in presentation of the plot F More concerned with human relationships than religious issues F Wrote The Oedipus Cycle, known as the Theban Plays


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