The Dawn of Theatre

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Transcript The Dawn of Theatre

The Dawn of Theatre
Part 1
(Primitive Societies & the Ancient Greeks)
Theatre of Primitive Societies
• Dance ceremonies (initiation,
war, story, religious)
• Tribal traditions
– Religious dances
• performed by shamans in front
of temples
• Believed to drive away evil
– Rituals (rites of passage, etc.)
• Today’s Evidence
– Yakama Tribe in Bonneville
– Native American soldiers
before Iraq War
Ancient Greek Theatre
• The Classic/Golden Age
(500-400 B.C.)
• Began as religious rites
• Mainly revolved around 4
public celebrations
– Held in vineyards
– Dithryambs
– Vocal contests (choral groups)
• Plato & Aristotle vs. Today’s
City of Dionysia
• A celebration in honor of
Dionysus, the god of wine
& fertility
• Held in Athens
• Annual event in March
• Festival of Tragedies
• Lasted 5-6 days
• National & Religious
– Religious procession
– Huge participation
– City officials tickets
City of Dionysia
• The Playwriting Contest:
– Final 3 days of festival
– 1 Dramatist per day
• 3 tragedies
• 1 satire- always last; meant to
lighten the mood
– Spoils of the Winner:
• Bragging rights for playwright
and his choregus (financial
backer) for an entire year
• Ivy garland
City of Dionysia
• Thespis: first tragedian
winner of playwriting
contest in 534 B.C.
• Added a leader to the
• Chorus responded in
• First to use masks
• Thespian- actor
The Greek Actor
• Drama was rhetorical
– Separation between audience
and actors
• The Greek Actor
– Broad gestures and
dramatically booming vocal
– Cothurnus- thick soled shoes
– Onkus- high headpiece
The Greek Actor
• Costumes
– Tunics (belted & draped over
shoulder), short cloaks
– Elaborate
– Colorful
• Masks
– Symbolized station in life,
character, and emotion
– Megaphone qualities
• Special Effects
– Drums: thunder
– Deaths committed offstage;
bodies shown onstage
– Deus ex Machina
The Greek Theatre
• Amphitheatre structure
• Built on sloping hill
• Semicircles of tiers
• Stone benches
• Could hold up to
• 1st row designated for
The Greek Theatre
Skene- an area
behind the
orchestra where
Parados- entry/exit ways
for the chorus to the left
and right of the skene
Orchestra- The
designated area
for the actors to
perform at the
foot of the hill
Theatron- the area
designated for the
audience. Semicircle full of
rows of stone benches
Famous Grecian Tragedians
• Father of Tragedy
• Rumored that theatrical career was
ordained by a god
• Won City of Dionysia 13 times
• Accreditation– Second actor
– Invention of the trilogy
• Reduced chorus from 50 to 12
• Rumored death by eagle
• Wrote 90 plays; 7 survived
• Loved spectacle
– Ex. Prometheus falling from cliff &
terrifying Fury masks
(525-456 B.C.)
• Oresteia trilogy– Agamemnon, Choephori, Eumenides
Famous Grecian Tragedians
• Thought to be handsome and welleducated
• Jack of all trades- musician, singer,
politician & athlete
• Treasurer of Athens
• Won 18 Dionysia festivals
– Beat Aeschylus in his 1st victory
• Incorporated 3 actors and increased
the chorus from 12 to 15
• Wrote more than 100 plays
– Beautiful language, well-balanced plot,
thorough character development
(496-406 B.C.)
– Ex. Electra, Oedipus Rex, & Antigone
Famous Grecian Tragedians
• Boxer and painter
• Preferred a literary life
• Big fan of meditation
– Preferred location: cave overlooking
the sea
• Questioned traditional religious ideas
• Plays focused on psychological and
social motivations
– Plight of women
– Outsiders
• First to humanize drama
– Normal, household details that
appealed to emotions
– Ex. Medea
• Had a lack of success while alive
(480-406 B.C.)
– Alienated (Macedonia)
– Aristophanes (satirist)
Welcome to Greekbook
– Create a Greekbook profile for the tragedian assigned to your
group on a poster.
– You must use your notes to infer what type of person he was in
real life.
– Include the following on his Greekbook page:
>His Likes
>His Dislikes
>Home City
>Groups he might be in
>Pages he might like
>Some of his favorite modern day movies,
T.V. shows, and/or quotes
Playwright Comic Book
Create a comic strip about a ONE of the Greek
playwrights discussed on pages 406-408.
Must Haves:
• 10 comic boxes
• Touch on key events that happened to this playwright
• Playwright’s personality traits
• Most popular plays (what is he known for today?)
• Important people in his life (Ex. Friends, competitors, Choregus, etc.)
Playwright Rap
Create a rap about ONE of the Greek
playwrights discussed on pages 406-408.
Must Haves:
• 10 lines
• Touch on key events that happened to this playwright
• Playwright’s personality traits
• Most popular plays (what is he known for today?)
• Important people in his life (Ex. Friends, competitors, Choregus, etc.)
Greek Theatre Layout Exhibit
Create an exhibit for a Hernando Drama History
Museum based on the components of a Ancient
Greek Theatre.
Must Haves:
Emphasize key parts of a Greek theatre.
Interactive Element
Drawn Diagram of a Greek theatre
Include details (Ex. Capacity, shape, location, etc.)
Important people that come and events that take place there. (Ex. Playwrights,
Choregus, Festival of Tragedies etc.)
Greek Theatre Tour Guide Improv
Lead a tour of the designated areas of the
classroom that represent the parts of a Greek
theatre covered on pages 402-404.
Must Haves:
• Tour Brochure (1 piece of paper folded 3x)
• Front picture
• Location (Name of theatre, where is it located, etc.)
• Events held there (Festival of Tragedies, etc.) & Famous people who have been
there (Playwrights, Choregus, etc.)
• Each group member must present a specific part of the theatre
GreekTV Playwright
Press Conference
Write and perform a script for a press conference for
one of the Greek playwrights discussed on pgs. 406408.
Must Haves:
• 10 questions
• Touch on key life events, key people in his life, major plays he is known for,
personality traits
• Must assign 2 people to play the reporters, 1 person to play the playwright, 1
person to play the playwright’s assistant.
• Perform scripted press conference
Greek Theatre Recap
the vocal level
and gestures of
a Greek actor.
What was the
name of Greek
festival held in
March dedicated
to the god
Dionysus? What
was another
name for it?
Name one
practice in
societies that
resulted from.
Who was the
more introverted
tragedian on the
Grecian theatre
What was
Thespis’s role
in theatrical