About Ancient Greece Theater

About Ancient Greece Theater

Ancient Greece Theater evolved from the festivals in honor of Dionysus, who was the Greek god of fertility and wine. The festival was called the City Dionysia. Drunken men who were dressed in goatskins, and who would sing to welcome Dionysus led this. Different tribes competed, and those with the best performance won the contest. It was very interesting to note that these fertility and wine rituals of the cult of Dionysus developed into plays of tragedy and comedy.

During the first few stage presentations in ancient Greece Theater, only one actor did all the speeches in the play, but did so with the use of different masks to show that another person was already talking. In addition, a chorus narrated and commented on the scene. This chorus was a group of people who also usually acted as the general public in the play, on top of their narration roles. They chant or sing depending on what the play calls for. When the chorus speaks, they are also usually accompanied by music.

Then came a time when there were now two actors, and then eventually three actors allowing for a dialogue between characters. The use of the mask did not stop though, as the actors were still allowed to take on other roles.

The 5th century BC marked the formalization of ancient Greece Theater, and became a main part of the Athenian culture. This point has been normally regarded as the Golden Age of Greek drama. The much-awaited event of the festival was a competition between three playwrights who submits three entries for tragedy and one entry for a satyr play.

There were four major playwrights during the time. Three were known for their works on tragedy: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, while one on comedy: Aristophanes. These were all Athenians, and their name has lived on more than any other playwrights of those times have. These three have become the chief pillars of ancient Greek theater.

In ancient Greece Theater, the actors were all males. Moreover, they performed on a very big stage, wherein they had to make a gesture reasonably clear to make those watching on the topmost portions of the theater building understand what they were acting out. The ancient Greece theater buildings, known as theatrons, were large open-air buildings with a centerpiece that was either rectangular or circular in area. This centerpiece is what is called the orchestra. In addition, an altar was placed in the middle of the orchestra, dedicated for Dionysus. Indeed, the scheme of ancient Greece Theater proved to have been very interesting on those times, and even up to the present times.