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Ancient Greek Theatre People Play Structure Tragedy and
Comedy Plays Who is Dionysus? Staging an
Ancient Greek Play Actors and Chorus Who is Thespis? Costumes and Masks Food time! Ancient Greek Theatre By: Maroosha Khan and Jenifer Fang Sources: Voki Link: Born: 6th Century B.C. Famous: 534 B.C.E. Actors Actors were usually named hypocrites back then. Besides actors, who played the leading parts, there were also some other people on the stage, playing "dumb" roles. The hypocrites were always men, even if they were playing female roles. At the beginning, the actors were chosen by the poets, but sometimes they played the roles themselves. Later, when theatre competition became tough, the need of professional actors emerged. Some actors tended to attach themselves to a poet.
Actors and especially the ones who played the leading parts ("protagonists") were people of high respect, not only to the Athenian society but worldwide. Some of them were addressed as ambassadors. In the 5th century they had become significant members of the Greek society and became very rich, since they were very well paid. Chorus The chorus had 15 members, they usually communicated in song form, but sometimes spoke their lines in unison. The chorus had to work in unison to help explain the play as there were only one to three actors on stage who were already playing several parts each. As the Greek theatres were so large, the chorus' actions had to be exaggerated and their voices clear so that everyone could see and hear them. To do this, they used techniques such as synchronization, echo, ripple, physical theatre and the use of masks to aid them.
The leader of the chorus was in the middle of the first row, and was also a professional dancer and singer. The rest of the chorus consisted of amatuers chosen by the poet and paid by the sponsor. Greek plays were performed in an outdoor theater, using masks, and were almost always performed by a chorus and three actors (no matter how many speaking characters there were in the play, only three actors were used; the actors would go back stage after playing one character, switch masks and costumes, and reappear as another character). Greek plays were performed as part of religious festivals in honor of the god Dionysus, and unless later revived, were performed only once. Plays were funded by the polis, and always presented in competition with other plays, and were voted either the first, second, or last place. Tragedies almost exclusively dealt with stories from the mythic past and comedies almost exclusively with contemporary figures and problems. Chorus The most essential part of their disguise was the mask. They had big holes for the mouth and the eyes, and the mask was absolutely necessary as it was necessary in the Dionysian religion.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. When the poets introduced real costumes, they imitated the the “chiton” and the “hemateon”. The chiton was made of linen or silk and it was worn long, and the hemateon was an exterior cloth, worn over the shoulders. It was usually made of wool. Both chiton and hemateon were decorated depending on the occasion.In order to have a female appearance, the men wore the "prosternida" (which imitated a woman's breasts) and the "progastrida" before the belly. In order to look taller and more impressive they wore "cothornous" (wooden shoes with tall heels). They were dressed in long robes with vertical stripes. The Ancient Greek theatre history began with festivals honoring their god, Dionysus. In Athens, during the festivals, men used to perform songs and plays to welcome Dionysus.
Athens was the main center for these theatrical traditions, and
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 and music was often played during the chorus' delivery of its lines. The Orchestra was almost a circular place, situated in front of the scene (stage) facing the audience. The scene had one or three entrances for the actors and the sides of the Scene were facing the audience. The Koilon (or Theatron) was the auditorium of the Greek theater, where the spectators sat. It was called koilon because of its shape. Its shape was semi-circular, built around the orchestra. Ancient Greeks from the 5th century B.C. were fascinated by the question of the origins of tragedy and comedy. They were unsure of their exact origins, but Aristotle proposed theories of how tragedy and comedy developed, and told stories about the people thought to be responsible for their development. Aristotle believed it was on this basis that the Dorian Greeks (The Spartans) lay claim to the invention of both tragedy and comedy. Comedy is claimed by the Megarians in Greece, who say it began among them at the time when they became a democracy, and tragedy is claimed by certain Dorians of the Peloponnese.
Part of the reason plays were so important is that originally plays were performed to honor Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of harvest and wine. But over time, many different gods got in the act such as the 12 Olympians .who were also major gods of ancient Greece. The Greeks were always weaving the gods into their stories.
Tragedies: The first type they invented was the tragedy. In tragedies, one or more major characters always suffered a disastrous end.
Comedies: Comedies were invented next. In comedies, plays always had a happy end.
Satires: Satires were plays that made fun of mortal legends and of real people. In ancient Greece, you did not poke fun at the gods - not in a play, not in real life, not ever. But you could poke fun at your leaders. And that was uniquely Greek. Satires in ancient Greece were often political in nature, and could indeed affect people's opinions about current events. Euripides (ur-ip-e-dees)- (c. 480 – 406 BC) was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, and was identified with theatrical innovations that have influenced drama down to modern times. Aristotle- (384-322 B.C.E.) was among the greatest philosophers of all time, who turned his attention to poetry and Greek drama, and he applied to it the same methodology as he used in his scientific studies. Sophocles (soff-oh-clees)- (497 BC) increased the number of hyprocrites(actors) from 2 to 3, and he also increased the members of the chorus from 12 to 15. "Ancient Greek Theatre." Ancient Greek Theatre. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2013. <http://www.greektheatre.gr/constr.html>.
" Greek Theatre - Ancient Greece ." Ancient Greece - History, mythology, art, war, culture, society, and architecture. . N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2013. <http://www.ancientgreece.com/s/Theatre "Ancient Greek Theatre." Ancient Greek Theatre. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2013. <http://www.greektheatre.gr/sophocles.ht Category. "History of Greek Theater - Drama in Ancient Greece - A Study Guide to the Origins of Theater." Plays / Drama. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2013. <http://plays.about.com/od/historyofthestage/a/History-Of-Greek-Theater.htm>. "Greek Theater." Reed College. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2013. <http://academic.reed.edu/humanities/11 "The British Theatre Guide: Greek Theatre - Aristotle." British Theatre Guide. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2013. <http://www.britishtheatreguide.info/articles/ "Costume & Masks | Greek Theatre." Greek Theatre | Just another WordPress.com weblog. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2013. <http://greektheatre.wordpress.com/hom " Ancient Greece - Culture and Society in the Ancient Greek World ." Ancient Greece - History, mythology, art, war, culture, society, and architecture. . N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2013. <http://www.ancientgreece.com/s/Life/>. Ancient Greeks usually ate bread (barley or wheat) and porridge, accompanied with food such as cheese, vegetables, fish, eggs and fruit. Animal such as deer, hare and boars were hunted only as addition to the food supply. Seasoning usually involved coriander and sesame seeds. Honey was probably the only sweetening that existed at the time, importance this is shown as the beehives were kept in terracotta The End! http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=8072849&height=267&width=200 Voki Link: http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=8062328&height=267&width=200