Greek Theater

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by aclarky13
Last updated 7 years ago

Arts & Music

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Greek Theater

-Came from a wealthy family -Father (Sophillus) made armor. -Good education because of wealth-Incredibly smart -Gifted with good looks, athletic prowess, and skill in music-Participated in festivals by singing and playwrighting.-Competed in festivals by writing plays. -Wrote 123 dramas for the festivals -Competed about 30 times and won as many as 24.

Theater Conventions

Started as festivals honoring the god Dionysus. Style of acting:- early Greek festivals: actors, directors, and dramatists were all the same person.After some time, only three actors allowed to perform in each play. Later few non-speaking roles 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 often played during the chorus' delivery of its lines. The cast of a Greek play in the Dionysia was comprised of amateurs, not professionals (all male).Ancient Greek actors had to gesture grandly so that the entire audience could see and hear the story.However most Greek theatres were cleverly constructed to transmit even the smallest sound to any seat.

-Theatre buildings called a theatron. -Theaters were large, open-air structures constructed on slopes of hills. -Consisted of three main elements: -orchestra -skene -audience. Orchestra: -large circular or rectangular area at center part of theatre, where the play, dance, religious rites, acting used to take place.Skene: -Large rectangular building behind orchestra, used as a backstage. -Earlier the skene was a tent or hut -later became a permanent stone structure. - sometimes painted to serve as backdrops.Audience: -Rises from the circle of the orchestra -Theatres were originally built on a very large scale to accommodate large number of people on stage, as well as large number of people in the audience (up to fourteen thousand.)


"Ancient Greek Everyday Life." Ancient Greece. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013."Sophocles (Greek Dramatist)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.

Grecian Theater


Theater Conventions

800bce. Oligarchy governed by aristocratic people750bce. Athenian power in the Archaic Period was controlled by Aeropagus, or council. Their policies were delivered through three magistrates called Archons.500bce. Democracy introduced by aristocrat, Cleisthenes. 508 BC, after 2 years of civil war, they used the help of Spartans to secure power.


-Society broken up into free people and slaves. -Free people broken up into citizens (powerful athenian born) and metics (foreign born no power).-Social class only applied to men -Women took their class title from husbands. Men: who weren’t fighting or discussing politics went to the theater for entertainment. The plays were about current politics and gods in some form. Women : -not allowed to watch plays -closely tied to domestic work.-Not usually involved in public life or politics (exception: priestess in a temple) -Grapes and Olives important to the culture of the time. Olives crushed Into oil that used for many different everyday tasks. Young boys would play hockey or do other physical activities young girls would not do physical activities except juggling.

Social Conventions

-Actors far away from audience-Required exaggerated costumes and masks.-Masks made of linen or cork (none survived)-Tragic masks carried mournful or pained expressions-Comic masks were smiling or leering.-Shape of the mask amplified actor's voice, making his words easier for the audience to hear.



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