Ancient Greek Theatre

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Ancient Greek Theatre

The theatrical culture of Greece began to flourish around 700BC. Cities such as Athens and Sparta were known to be the centre for theatrical plays and aspiring artists, poets, actors and poets. Theatres in ancient Greece were often bland, rocky semi-circles, centered around a stage known as the orchestra. Greeks, being very technologically advanced, had a very good understanding of acoustics and designed their theatres to hold 14,000 people with each person being able to hear the actors comfortably. Theatres were first built with portable benches, but later included permanent, rock benches, situated on the side of a hill.

Costumes and Masks

Masks in ancient Greece were made of organic materials such as wood or plant, and were often used to portray gods or figures of high power in Greek art. However, in Greek theatre, masks were used for satyr plays, to induce comedy and to help the actor transform into a memorazation of the text. Masks normally covered the face, head and neck, including an integrated wig. Costumes on the other hand were often made of thin, light material due to the fact that the actors could not change in time in front of the audience. Boots that added heigth to the actor, called cothurni were worn for tragic plays. During comedic plays however, slim, small shoes called socks were worn as they looked unique at the time.


Tragedy and comedy were very popular for the classical Greek period. Tragedy emerged in Athens around 532BC by the famous Greek actor, Thespis. Along with tragic theatrical plays, comedy and satyr were very popular amoung the Greeks. Satyr is a combined form of mythological tragedy with comedy. Oftentimes, plays would last an entire day and would be performed as a competition between other artists and actors.


Greek Theatre, Costumes,Masks and Drama!

Greek Theatre and Design

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Greek Theatre Example

Mask from 1st century BC Greece


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