Ancient Greek Theater: the Forerunner to Modern Theatre

1190 words 5 pages
Imagine this following scene: You are sitting in a dark, fairly crowded large room. There are hundreds of other people, in hundreds of other seats surrounding you. In front of you, there is a large stage, with people acting out a play. Lights, music, and different sound effects set the mood of the play in order to understand more clearly what is going on. With these certain conventions, the audience can get a true grasp of a story which several actors are trying to portray. However, it hasn’t always been this easy to enjoy a play in a theater. Theatre and plays go back as far as “B.C.” times.
Theater has been a means of art and entertainment for thousands of years dating back to the fifth century B.C. The beginning marked with the ancient
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Many plays were just stories that a “producer” created himself.
Plays were basically started in the time when aristocrats were taking over different city-states, and running dictatorships, or very unfair governments. There was a small majority of the aristocrats who were highly amused and into the theatre. It was these certain aristocrats who made it a point to have certain theatres built and shows put on.
There were two basic forms of production, comedy and tragedy. Comedies were mostly sung, with strong instruments to back up the chorus. Tragedies usually followed the same pattern, opening with a prologue and followed by a parodos, (in which the chorus enters singing). The last “stasimon” provides the closing scene as the chorus and actors depart. Antigone is a great example of an early Greek tragedy. The theatres built had three major areas, the viewing place for spectators, the orchestra which is where the chorus and actors performed, and then a scene building which basically provided a scenic backing. The earliest scene buildings were very simple wooden structures. The most common method for seating was to bring in native stones to serves as seats for spectators. How did they prepare for their roles and what did they do in their spare time? As stated earlier the Greeks believed in staying fit for the show by fasting and dieting and so on. But, what about their


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