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Transcript of Greek Theatre
Actors and Masks
Where is Greece?
Greece is on the Balkan Pennisula in Eastern Europe.
Greece is credited with being the birthplace of democracy and modern thought.
Greek Theatre is the origin of all Theatre in the Western world.
The Greeks gave us many of our modern Theatre terms, ideas, characters and the enduring symbol of theatre, the masks.
Greek Theatre and Religion
In the beginng, all Greek Theatre was religious in nature
The Greeks worshipped many gods, the leader was Zeus. The gods were believed to live on Mount Olympus.
In Athens, theatre began as part of the festival honoring the god Dionysus.
In the beginning, Greek plays were morality plays or plays honoring the gods and goddesses and their stories.
Theatre was performed during the religious ceremonies in very large amphitheaters.
The stages were set at the bottom of the hill and seats were cut into the hillside for the audience.
There was little scenery and props.
In the beginning, the chorus chanted, sung or recited the story.
The chorus had as many as 150 people or could have as few as 15.
The first person to portray only one role was a slave named Thespis. That is why actors are still called "Thespians" today.
525 - 456 B.C.
The Father of tragedy
Reduced the size of the chorus to 12 and introduced the 2nd actor.
Invented the trilogy.
Example of his work is
These three playwrights were the most influential of the time and made changes to theatre, some of which remain to this day.
Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides
Introduced the 3rd and 4th actor
Created the plot as we know it
Gave us enduring classics such as
480 - 406 B.C.
Not a fan of Greek religion.
His tragedies focused more on the psychological and internal struggles of man.
He gave us the "dues ex machina" or machine of the gods
An example of his work is
The Trojan Women
The Parts of the Greek Tragedy
Parados - the processional entrance of the actors, chorus, orchestra, often accompanied by music or chanting
Prologue - the exposition, back story
Episodes - individual scenes with actors
Statimon - lyrical sections involving music, dancing and the chorus gives comment on the action or issues of the play
Exodus - summary of play, with the message or moral and the exit of the players.
All actors in Greek Theatre were male, most were slaves. Sometimes, the playwrights would perform in their plays.
Actors wore their normal dress and large masks.
The Greek masks indicated the following about each character:
Tragedy or Comedy
Now these masks have come to represent drama worldwide.