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Putting on a play at City Dionysus. City Dionysia One week in late March Opening of the port Many visitors Civic and religious event Sponsored by the.

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Presentation on theme: "Putting on a play at City Dionysus. City Dionysia One week in late March Opening of the port Many visitors Civic and religious event Sponsored by the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Putting on a play at City Dionysus

2 City Dionysia One week in late March Opening of the port Many visitors Civic and religious event Sponsored by the City and wealthy citizens Huge event Weeklong Super Bowl in a city-state

3 April Shortly after the previous festival, writers apply to the city’s chief magistrate (Archon) Archon listened to the selections of the play presented by the playwright Selected 3 Tragedies Assigned them Choruses Assigned them a Choregos

4 Choregus Like a producer Responsible for – Chorus training – Costuming for Chorus – Paid musicians – Supplied properties – Extra actors – May have provided 2 nd chorus

5 State Provided Building/Theatre Prizes Paid actors, maybe the playwright Some costumes Subsidized tickets Tickets – Bronze or lead – Looked like coins/tokens with a letter on one side, Athena on the other – Letter corresponded to the seating section

6 Rehearsals Playwright – Acted as a director – Invented music and dances – Also often acted – Sophocles did not act Bad voice Played music Didaskolos – Specialist in theatre – Instructed the chorus in speech and movement – Aristophanes did not direct his plays, hired a Didaskolos

7 March Few days before festival – Playwrights and actors announce the subject of their play Previews – Procession – reenactment of Dionysus coming to Athens Dances at altars Sacrifice a bull at altar of Dionysus

8 Five Days of Theatre 3 days (at least) Tragedies – One dramatist a day 3 tragedies 1 Satyr play Comedies – May have been up to five comedies at the festival – Possibly one a day 2 Days of Dithyrambic Contests – 10 choruses of adult men, 10 of boys

9 Prizes and Punishments Best Play and playwright Best Choregus – Could erect a statue of themself at their expense Best Actor (449 BC) Best Chorus Punishments were handed out 2 days after festival for bad behavior

10 Acting Masked – three actors could play many parts All men Extras could be used in non-speaking parts Early Playwrights chose actors, later city assigned actors to keep things fair

11 Judging the tragic actor Beauty Power and timbre of voice Gesture and movement – Broad and stylised Declamatory style

12 Comic actors Wore masks Short buskins or boots Phalluses Short tunics Very physical

13 Chorus In the beginning, 50 people Thespis – 1 Actor, 50 Chorus Aeschylus- 2 actors, 12 chorus Sophocles – 3 actors, 15 chorus Aristophanes – 3 or more actors, 24 chorus

14 Chorus Parodos – entered the theatre, often after the prologue Very stately Choral passages mainly sung and danced in unison Sometimes divided into two groups, took turns Last ode was called the exodos

15 Chorus Chorus moved in formal patterns during odes Odes – song sung by choruse – Strophe – danced from stage right to left – Antistrophe – danced from stage left to right – Epode – song sung by the Chorus while standing still after singing the strophe and antistrophe

16 Visual Aspects of Performance Scenery – conventions were different from our own Skene – represented many places, used the doors and the roof for higher levels Scene Painting – Aristotle credited Sophocles to adding scene painting – Roman Archetech Vitruvius claims it was Aeschylus

17 Types of scenery Flats or flat panels- Pinakes Triangular rotating scenery – Periakotoi `Ekkyklema’ – “something that can be rolled out” wheeled platform or wagon – Tableau of actors Scenes of carnage or death Could be pushed through the central doors

18 Deux ex machina Mechane- crane, used to swing actors on stage, to simulate flight. Used at end of Medea, often associated with Euripides, who often used the crane. Deux ex machina is used to describe any contrived ending.

19 Costumes Tragic actor – loose fitting ankle length tunic or chiton, high topped boots, loose fitting sleeves though sometimes sleeveless. Symbolic Costumes Comic actors – wore flesh colored tights, short chiton, often padding across the stomach and visible phallus. Satyrs – goatskin loincloths with tail and phallus over spotted tights. All wore masks – Portrait masks of famous Athenians

20 Music Greeks regarded music and dance as mimetic Odes sung while accompanied by a flute Sometimes playwright wrote the music but often it was the flute player.

21 Audience 10,000 – 30,000 people per show There all day, probably able to buy food and drinks in theatre but also brought wine, fruit and refreshments to eat (and sometime to throw at actors) Theatron divided into sections Front row for priests of Dionysus. Special sections for archons, city officials, generals, representatives of the 10 tribes, ambassadors and women Might hiss at actors but also very responsive to tragic moments, may cry or be very silent.

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