Ancient Greek Drama

WHAT TO KNOW

THEATERS

The first Greek theaters were often an open space on a hill with semi-circle seating up the hill. If Greek dramas were preformed for religious ceremonies, there would be 3 or 4 plays at a time and at the end there would be prizes for the best acting and writing. In ancient Greece, Athens was the center of acting and drama. Greek festivals to honor Dionysus were held in theaters and included almost every play or piece of drama from that year. There are five parts of a greek theater, the Theatron, the Orchestra, the Left Parados, the Right Parados, and the Skene. The Theatron is where the audience sits. The Orchestra was where the chorus performed and danced. The Skene was an elavated surface where the actors performed.

Comedy and tragedy

Comedy is a form of Greek drama where the plot will mostly be about common people or a common person, the main character(s) will very often struggle, but there is typically a happy ending.

Tragedy is a form of Greek drama where a very noble, important person struggles to overcome difficulty, but in the end fails and meets an unhappy ending.

Fun facts about greek drama

• All the actors had to be male.

• Drama evolved from a chant men did to honor Dionysus

• A man named Thespis was the first person to speak individually at a festival and he influenced the beginning of acting.

• There were 2 drama festivals held each year in Athens.

• Ancient Greek audiences would stomp their feet instead of clapping.

• Greek actors always used masks to perform.

• The masks had megaphone style mouths to project the voices of the actors.