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Greeak and Roman Theatre

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Whitney Thompson

on 24 October 2012

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Transcript of Greeak and Roman Theatre

Greek and Roman Theatre How it Worked GENRES How It Began The people of Athens had an annual festival celebrating the birth of the Greek god Dionysus, the god of fertility and wine. At these festivals, they performed a dhyrambos which was an ancient dance and chant to Dionysus. It was performed outside in bowl-like craters. The religious rites for these ceremonies were eventually written down in verse form and later became plays. Works Cited Phillips, K. K. "ANCIENT GREEK THEATRE." ANCIENT GREEK THEATRE. K. Phillips, 12 Oct. 1998. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www.richeast.org/htwm/greeks/theatre/theatre.html>. 1. At the early Greek festivals, the actors, directors, and dramatists were all the same person. After some time, only three actors were allowed to perform in each play. Later few non-speaking roles were allowed to perform on-stage. Due to limited number of actors allowed on-stage, the chorus evolved into a very active part of Greek theatre. Music was often played during the chorus' delivery of its lines. The actors were so far away from the audience that without the aid of exaggerated costumes and masks, the audience members would have no idea what was happening in the play.
The masks were made of linen or cork, so none have survived. Tragic masks carried mournful or pained expressions, while comic masks were smiling or leering.
The shape of the mask amplified the actor's voice, making his words easier for the audience to hear. Actors "Ancient Greek Theatre." Greek Theatre. Ed. University Press Inc. Copyright © 2003-2012 University Press Inc, 8 Aug. 2003. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www.ancientgreece.com/s/Theatre/>. 2. 1 2 The cast of a Greek play in the Dionysia was comprised of amateurs, not professionals. All of the actors were also men because women were not allowed to act. Costumes have been a very important factor of the production, because they could determine the characters by gender or social status. In the early productions actors have been using body painting. Little by little they started using animal skins, ears, even feathers Karayannakos, Elias. "Ancient Greek Theatre." Ancient Greek Theatre. Elias Karayannakos, 09 June 2007. Web. 21 Oct. 2012. <http://www.greektheatre.gr/costumes.html>. 3. 4. 4 2 3 The three genres of drama were comedy, satyr plays, and most important of all, tragedy. Comedy: The first comedies were mainly satirical and mocked men in power for their vanity and foolishness. The first master of comedy was the playwright Aristophanes. Much later Menander wrote comedies about ordinary people and made his plays more like sit-coms. Tragedy: Tragedy dealt with the big themes of love, loss, pride, the abuse of power and the fraught relationships between men and gods. Typically the main protagonist of a tragedy commits some terrible crime without realizing how foolish and arrogant he has been. Then, as he slowly realizes his error, the world crumbles around him. The three great playwrights of tragedy were Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. Satyr Plays: These short plays were performed between the acts of tragedies and made fun of the plight of the tragedy's characters. The satyrs were mythical half-human, half-goat figures and actors in these plays wore large phalluses for comic effect. Few examples of these plays survive. They are classified by some authors as tragicomic, or comedy dramas. Satyr Comedy Tragedy "The Different Types of Greek Drama and their importance." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. <http://www.pbs.org/empires/thegreeks/background
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