Greek Theatre

WhatwastheroleofthetheatreasanAtheniansocialinstitution?Howdiditattemptto reflectanddirecttheaudience'ssenseofidentityandcommunity?
InGreece,places ofperformancewereusually connectedwiththesacredprecinctsofthegod's .Greekshonoured eachoftheirgod'sthroughannualfestivals.InAthens four festivalswereheldeach yearinhonourofDionysus, itwasduringoneofthesefestivalswhich washeld at the City Dionysiathat drama's werefirst presented. At these festivals playwrights, actors and choruses competed for prizes. When the play began, there was only three actors on the stage at once. They wore very elaborate costumes, and over their faces they wore mask with a wide mouth, so that everyone in the audience could hear and see them.
The theatre in the City Dionysia was a great semi-circle on the slope of the Acropolis, with rows of stone seats. The front row consisted of marble chairs, these were reserved for the priests of Dionysus and the chief magistrates. Beyond the front row, was a circular space called the orchestra, where the Chorus sang, and in the centre of which stood the altar of Dionysus.Behind the orchestra, was a stage on which the actors acted, at the back of which was a building to which the actors retire when they were not wanted on the stage or had to change their costumes. The completed stone auditorium seated 14,000 people nevertheless only a small population could have attended at any one time, thus while the theatre may have been open to all, only about one -tenth could have attended any given performance. Due to this an introduction of tickets andadmission fee's were introduced, the price being two obols per- ticket. To equalize the opportunity to attend,'theorical funds' were introduced to provide tickets for the poor. Tickets admitted holders to a section r…


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