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Ancient Greek Theatre. Where is Greece? Why do we begin with Greece? Ancient Greece is the beginning of Western culture and civilization. (That eventually.

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Presentation on theme: "Ancient Greek Theatre. Where is Greece? Why do we begin with Greece? Ancient Greece is the beginning of Western culture and civilization. (That eventually."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ancient Greek Theatre

2 Where is Greece?

3 Why do we begin with Greece? Ancient Greece is the beginning of Western culture and civilization. (That eventually became Europe and the Americas.) Ancient Greece is the beginning of Western culture and civilization. (That eventually became Europe and the Americas.) Many Western cultures followed the examples that began in Greece. Many Western cultures followed the examples that began in Greece. Modern American Theatre evolved from the Ancient Greek traditions. Modern American Theatre evolved from the Ancient Greek traditions.

4 A. Historical Influences ’s B.C.E. 2. Festivals honoring Dionysus, God of Wine 3. *Dithyramb – ritual of song and dance 4. Contests for Playwrights

5 B. Physical Space 1. *Arena Theatre 2. *Theatron – “seeing place” – sloped hillside for audience 3. *Orchestra – Flat terrace below slope where chorus performed – between audience and Main Actors 4. *Skene – Building behind acting area 5. *Proskenion – Stage area

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9 C. Characteristics of Productions 1. All performers were men – usually limited to 3 actors

10 2. * Chorus – about 15 people – Choral Odes were performed between episodes and divided the action into segments. -Seen as a “group character” who expressed opinions and gave advice – Often expressed the author’s point of view or reacted as the audience to establish mood. - Sang, chanted, danced.

11 3. *Episodes = Acting scenes 4. *Parados = Prologue – Entrance of chorus and explanation of background. Also the name for the actual aisle where the chorus entered. 5. *Deus Ex Machina – “god from machine” - Crane like device to fly gods in

12 D. Important People 1. Thespis – first performer to separate from chorus and have a dialogue with them as a character – considered “first actor” – where we get the word “thespian” 2. 6 th century B.C.E.

13 Aeschylus 2. Aeschylus (ca B.C.E.) “Father of Greek Tragedy” “Father of Greek Tragedy” Known for innovative language Known for innovative language Only 7 of 70 plays survived Only 7 of 70 plays survived

14 Sophocles 3. Sophocles ( B.C.E.) 7 of 123 plays remain 7 of 123 plays remain Known for 3 big innovations: Known for 3 big innovations: a. Including a 3 rd actor on stage b. Limiting the role of the chorus c. Making plots more complex

15 Euripides 4. Euripides ( B.C.E.) Last Tragic playwright of the classic era Last Tragic playwright of the classic era 17 of 92 plays survived 17 of 92 plays survived Created “Deus Ex Machina” and “Prologue” Created “Deus Ex Machina” and “Prologue” Known for simple language and realism Known for simple language and realism

16 Aristophanes 5. Aristophanes (ca. 446– 386 BCE) Father of Old Comedy Father of Old Comedy 11 of 40 plays survive 11 of 40 plays survive A lot of farce and satire A lot of farce and satire His powers of ridicule were feared His powers of ridicule were feared

17 Menander 5. Menander (ca B.C.E.) Writer/creator of “new comedy” Writer/creator of “new comedy” Wrote more than 100 comedies – only 1 survived Wrote more than 100 comedies – only 1 survived

18 New Comedy Popular after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 – until about 260ish BCE Popular after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 – until about 260ish BCE Fears of ordinary man Fears of ordinary man Personal relationships Personal relationships Family and social mishaps Family and social mishaps More sophisticated More sophisticated Less farcical and satirical than “Old comedy” Less farcical and satirical than “Old comedy”

19 E. Notable Titles Oedipus Rex (the king) Oedipus Rex (the king) Antigone Antigone Both by Sophocles and part of trilogy Both by Sophocles and part of trilogy


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