What were stages used in Greek theatre?<br />Greek Theatre<br />The Stage<br />Name: Gergely Kovacs<br />Class: 9S<br />Subject: Theater Art<br />Teacher: Ms. Rankin<br />Word Count: 740 words without quotes<br />Table of content<br />
Introduction<br />In this essay I will examine the use of the stage and the design of the Greek theatre. Firstly, It will show the development of Greek theatre. Secondly, it will focus on how the stage was built. Thirdly, it will examine a variety of effects on the actors. Finally, common symbols in the play will also be discussed and about how lighting was made. As Aristotle (384-322 BC) stated “Dramatic action, therefore, is not with a view to the representation of character: character comes in as subsidiary to the actions.”<br />What did the Greek Stage looked like?<br />The structure of the Greek Stage was very interesting and had very useful parts separated in it. “The rectangular court became the circular orchestra, or “dancing place” where the actors and chorus as well as members of the dithyrambic processions, performed. The king’s box was a central thymel, an altar for sacrificing to and honoring the gods.” (Greek and Roman Theater p.26.) The figure below (Don Nardo, 1995) shows a drawing of Greek theatre and its parts. <br />Fig 1. The diagram of The Theater of Dionysus (Don Nardo, 1995)<br />The stage was divided into several parts. Michael Lahanas (2007) in this page: http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/LX/GreekTheater.html suggests “<br /> <br />
Theatron: Embankment (spectator seating area, divided in sections (wedges) "kekrides")
These are the main parts of the Greek Theater Stage, giving the basic foundation of modern theater stage. <br /> How was it built?<br />Probably the oldest theater in the world is in the palace at Knossus with the area consists of a rectangular court, roughly forty by thirty feet in size and paved with large stones. As Ridgeway William (1910) states “The theatres were originally built on a very large scale to accommodate the large number of people on stage, as well as the large number of people in the audience, up to fourteen thousand. Mathematics played a large role in the construction of these theatres, as their designers had to be able to create acoustics in them such that the actors' voices could be heard throughout the theatre, including the very top row of seats.” <br />This shows that it was very hard and took a long time to build a Greek Theater; one reason for this is because of its huge size and also of its complicated parts.<br />Fig 2. The figure above (John Kenrick, 1997-2009) shows a real picture about the ruins of a Greek theatre <br />Effects of Greek Theater on the Modern Theater<br />The big advantages of Greek Theater Stage are that actors could be seen from anywhere in the audience and that the acoustics were great, this means that they could be heard from everywhere along the audience. As Mark Damen (2009) states “ Besides the chorus, only three actors performed all the speaking roles in tragedies produced at the Dionysia, although the authorities who oversaw these celebrations of Dionysus allowed on stage any number of mute actors. But all known tragedies include more than three speaking characters, which means actors must have taken more than one role in a play. While on the modern stage multiple-role-playing may sometimes entail difficulties—audiences today who sit relatively close to the stage will naturally expect a high level of realism which may be all but impossible for the actor to effect—the same was not true in ancient Greece.”<br />The times have changed but the basics of Modern Theater go back to the Ancient Greek Theater. <br />The figure below (Abid, 2009) shows a drawing of the Three-Actor Rule. <br />Fig 3. The diagram of The Three-Actor Rule (Abid, 2009)<br />In Greek Theater religion played a more important part; plays were part of religious festivals such as the festival of Dionysus. The actors used masks and a special gesture to make themselves easier to understand and to express their emotion in a clearer way. <br /> <br />Common Symbols Used for a Greek Play<br />There are many symbols/elements related to the Greek Theater, here are some of them. As Christina Sheryl L. Sianghio (2008) states “<br />
The elements of the Greek Theater are almost the same ones as the ones in today’s theaters. <br />Lighting of the Stage<br />Without any technical equipment the Greek used the best natural source the Sun, for lighting. As W. F. Bellman (1974) stated ” Greek plays were performed in daylight, and the dramas were frequently designed to take advantage of the position of the sun. Also, theater sites were well-placed to gain the best effects of the natural light.”<br />This shows that even though they didn’t have any technology, electricity, they could still make a great play with great lighting, only with natural powers. They could use the power of the nature better and wiser than us now. <br />Conclusion<br />In this essay I collected information about the layout of a Greek Theater. I also discussed how it looked like, the parts of the stage and how it was built in the ancient times. Then I wrote about the effects of Greek Theater on the Modern Theater. I also included some points of the Common Symbols of this kind of theater. At last I included information about how they used the Sun for the lighting of the stage. I was informed about the consequences of this open-air stage. This is why the actors had to produce their voices the way so everyone could hear them clearly. The also used gesticulation to get this right and for the audience to get a good understanding of what was going on. <br /> <br />Bibliography<br />Internet Resources<br />Used in What did the Greek Stage looked like?<br />
Unknown, "Greek Theater." Reed College | Academic Programs. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2010. HYPERLINK "http://academic.reed.edu/humanities/110tech/Theater.html" l "structure"http://academic.reed.edu/humanities/110tech/Theater.html#structure
This was good to give information about the structure of the Greek Theater. It also had some interesting point written about the origin and timeline of Greek Drama, but I didn’t use these.
Phillips, K.. "ACTORS IN ANCIENT GREEK THEATRE.”Web. 19 Jan. 2010. HYPERLINK "http://www.richeast.org/htwm/Greeks/theatre/stage.html"http://www.richeast.org/htwm/Greeks/theatre/stage.html
This was a helpful site because it contained information about the stage setup of Greek Theaters. <br />
Michael Lahanas , Hellenica, Information about Greece and Cyprus, N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2010. HYPERLINK "http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/LX/GreekTheater.html" http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/LX/GreekTheater.html
This page had a really good image that I used later on about the parts of the Greek Theater and it also explained what these were and what the mean.<br />Used in How was it built?<br />
Ridgeway William , "Theatre of ancient Greece - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2010. HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_of_ancient_Greece" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_of_ancient_Greece
It had some basic information and pictures about the Theater of Ancient Greece but it was a little complex so I didn’t really understood what some parts meant. <br /> <br />Used in Effects of Greek Theater on the Modern Theater<br />
Mark Damen 2009, "206 Classical Greek Theatre, Classical Drama and Theatre." Welcome to Utah State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2010. HYPERLINK "http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/ClasDram/chapters/061gkthea.htm" http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/ClasDram/chapters/061gkthea.htm
This website concluded information about the overview of Classical Greek Drama. It was quite helpful and understandable.
Moore Bruce 1999, "Theater (structure) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2010. HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theater_(structure"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theater_(structure)
This site tells you about the Greek Theater and mainly tells about its structure and the stage.
Used in Common Symbols Used for a Greek Play<br />
Ancient Greece and how they used the Sun as lighting since they didn’t have electricity to do it with.
Don Nardo, Greek and Roman Theater (World History Series).
San Diego, California: Lucent Books Publishing, 1995.
This book was easy for me to read and it helped me with getting quotes about Greek Theater and also with the parts of the Greek Stage. It was a really helpful and useful book. It helped me get some very interesting and important facts and points about Greek Theater.
Greek Theater: www.metacafe.com, Online video. Epidaurus, Best Preserved Ancient Greek Theater. 400 B. C.
This video is short but interesting. It tells you some information about the best-preserved ancient Greek Theater, Epidaurus and also about its great acoustics.
There was come of information that I didn’t use<br />
Figure 1 - The diagram of The Theater of Dionysus (Don Nardo, 1995) Don Nardo, Greek and Roman Theater (World History Series). San Diego, California: Lucent Books Publishing, 1995. Also, Michael Lahanas , Hellenica, Information about Greece and Cyprus, N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2010. http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/LX/GreekTheater.html
Figure 2 - The figure (John Kenrick, 1997-2009) shows a real picture about the ruins of a Greek theatre
Figure 3 - Mark Damen 2009, "206 Classical Greek Theatre, Classical Drama and Theatre." Welcome to Utah State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2010. http://www.usu.edu/markdamen/ClasDram/chapters/061gkthea.htm