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  • Orchestra: The orchestra (literally, "dancing space") was normally circular. It was a level space where the chorus would dance, sing, and interact with the actors who were on the stage near the skene. The earliest orchestras were simply made of hard earth, but in the Classical period some orchestras began to be paved with marble and other materials. In the center of the orchestra there was often a thymele, or altar. The orchestra of the theater of Dionysus in Athens was about 60 feet in diameter. Theatron: The theatron (literally, "viewing-place") is where the spectators sat. The theatron was usually part of hillside overlooking the orchestra, and often wrapped around a large portion of the orchestra (see the diagram above). Spectators in the fifth century BC probably sat on cushions or boards, but by the fourth century the theatron of many Greek theaters had marble seats. Skene: The skene (literally, "tent") was the building directly behind the stage. During the 5th century, the stage of the theater of Dionysus in Athens was probably raised only two or three steps above the level of the orchestra, and was perhaps 25 feet wide and 10 feet deep. The skene was directly in back of the stage, and was usually decorated as a palace, temple, or other building, depending on the needs of the play. It had at least one set of doors, and actors could make entrances and exits through them. There was also access to the roof of the skene from behind, so that actors playing gods and other characters (such as the Watchman at the beginning of Aeschylus' Agamemnon) could appear on the roof, if needed.
  • As the performances were held during the day, no artificial lighting was necessary Orchestra would hold an alter. Capacity: A greek theatre could hold anywhere from 14,000 to 55,000 spectators. A an actor would appear incredibly small from the back of the house. although there were various sound effects used, such as metallic containers full of water to increase the volume of the speeches, and pebbles were shaken around in bronze jars to sound like thunder. The technicians who wielded these vessels would either stand behind the scenery or along the sides of the platform, in the side-wings.
  • Parodos: The parodoi (literally, "passageways") are the paths by which the chorus and some actors (such as those representing messengers or people returning from abroad) made their entrances and exits. The audience also used them to enter and exit the theater before and after the performance. The appearance of actors through these entrances was significant for the plot of the play: the public was aware of the convention that when an actor entered from the right-hand door, he was coming from the city; the use of the opposite door meant that he was arriving from some distant place. t is mainly used in tragedies for revealing dead bodies, such as Hippolytus' dying body in the final scene of Euripides' Hippolytus, or the corpse of Eurydice draped over the household altar in Sophocles' Antigone.[2] Other uses include the revelation in Sophocles' Ajax of Ajax surrounded by the sheep he killed whilst under the delusion that they were Greeks.[3] The ekkyklêma is also used in comedy to parody the tragic effect. An example of this is in Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae when Agathon, portrayed as an effeminate, is wheeled onstage on an ekkyklêma to enhance the comic absurdity of the scene. A mechane or machine (Greek μηχαν ῆ , mēkhanē) was a crane used in Greek theatre, especially in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Made of wooden beams and pulley systems, the device was used to lift an actor into the air, usually representing flight. This stage machine was particularly used to bring gods onto the stage from above[1], hence the Latin term deus ex machina ("god out of the machine"). Euripides' use of the mechane in Medea (431 BC) is a notable use of the machine for a non-divine character. It was also often used by Aeschylus.
  • Strophe: Stepping/Dancing to the right. Antistrophe: Stepping/Dancing to the left.
  • Greektheatre

    1. 1. Greek Tragedy <ul><li>Theatre Components </li></ul><ul><li>Actors </li></ul><ul><li>Chorus </li></ul>
    2. 2. Greek Theatre: Main components <ul><li>Theatron : literally, the “watching place” </li></ul><ul><li>Orchestra : literally, the “dancing place” </li></ul><ul><li>Skene : “scene,” or backdrop </li></ul>
    3. 3. Side By Side <ul><li>William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre in Berkley </li></ul><ul><li>Theatre Diagram turned to match replica </li></ul>
    4. 4. Theatron <ul><li>Daylight </li></ul><ul><li>Holy place </li></ul><ul><li>Women </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Sound effects </li></ul>
    5. 5. Orchestra <ul><li>Challenges: </li></ul><ul><li>Size </li></ul><ul><li>Distance from audience </li></ul><ul><li>Holding interest </li></ul>
    6. 6. Skene <ul><li>Behind orchestra </li></ul><ul><li>Served as backdrop, house </li></ul><ul><li>Decorative in later years </li></ul><ul><li>Holds mechane </li></ul>
    7. 7. Other Theatre Components <ul><li>Parados: passageways </li></ul><ul><li>Ekkykleme: “the thing that rolls” </li></ul><ul><li>Mechane : crane used for special effect </li></ul>
    8. 8. Actors <ul><li>3 Actors, all men </li></ul><ul><li>Various roles </li></ul><ul><li>Wore masks </li></ul><ul><li>Elaborate gestures, “over-acting” </li></ul>
    9. 9. Chorus <ul><li>12-15 men </li></ul><ul><li>Singing </li></ul><ul><li>Dancing </li></ul><ul><li>Strophe </li></ul><ul><li>Antistrophe </li></ul>
    10. 10. Antigone : in context <ul><li>Dionysia </li></ul><ul><li>Sophocles </li></ul><ul><li>Oedipus Rex </li></ul>
    11. 11. Sophocles <ul><li>495 B.C.E. :Born in Colonus, in Attica </li></ul><ul><li>441: Writes Antigone </li></ul><ul><li>431-404: Peloponnesian War (Athens v. Sparta) </li></ul><ul><li>429: Writes Oedipus Rex </li></ul><ul><li>406: Sophocles dies </li></ul>
    12. 12. Oedipus Rex <ul><li>Delphic Oracle, prophecy </li></ul><ul><li>Corinth </li></ul><ul><li>Sphinx riddle </li></ul><ul><li>Self-punishment </li></ul><ul><li>Children: Eteocles, Polyneices, Ismene, Antigone </li></ul>
    13. 13. Image and Textual References <ul><li>Ancient Greek Theater. Retrieved July 20, 2007, Web site: </li></ul><ul><li>Damen, (2006). Classical Drama and Theatre. Retrieved July 20, 2007, Web site: </li></ul><ul><li>Greek Drama. Retrieved July 20, 2007, Web site: </li></ul><ul><li>Hellenic World Staff (2007). The Greek Sphinx. Retrieved July 20, 2007, from The Hellenic World Web site: </li></ul><ul><li>Retrieved July 20, 2007, Web site: </li></ul><ul><li>Startz, A. (2006). Retrieved July 20, 2007, Web site: </li></ul><ul><li>The Classical Greek Chorus. Retrieved July 20, 2007, Web site: </li></ul>