Lecture CTH 101 W04 1/23/04
Theatre leaves no permanent record so we’re not sure really when it started.
are dramatic scripts that date back more than 4,500-5,330 years (2500-3330 B.C),
known beginning of dramatic art.
Derives from ancient sources:
– telling about our day, the hunt, whatever, develops –
imitation of voices, gestures, facial expressions, emotion – gives
importance of plotted structure
– a ceremonial act performed for religious or cultural reasons,
either to summon gods and influence nature or to dignify and memorialize
an important social, political or mythic (basic truth) event; both religious
and secular Baptisms and Bar Mitzvahs, changing of the guard in London
to marriage – pageantry, theatricality, body/soul, truthful reenactment,
Middle East, 2500B.C.;
tells the story of the gods and priests – humans making sense of
their world; springtime drama, by 3
Cent. B.C. and Islam theatre in this culture moved
on, seen as irreligious to depict humans.
But it had spread to India and Greece and was
performed before first millennium B.C.
Athens, Greece, over 150 years produced some of most important playwrights and
theorists – 5
– blend of myth, legend, philosophy, social commentary,
poetry, dance, music, public participation and visual splendor – created form of both
tragedy and comedy with characters that have become modern human’s archetypes in not
only theatre but in areas of philosophy, psychology, political science, etc. etc.
Edith Hamilton’s books, The Greek Way
The Greek plays were overly dramatic and
acted quite big because they were about the gods – the stories were huge tragedies.
– great drama theoreticians, has written a lot of structure of drama,
catharsis and writes that Greek drama, like the Middle Eastern drama before it was about
gods of wheat, derived form ancient, orgiastic rites, wine drinking, phallus worshipping,
chanting of ancient poems (dithyrambs) in honor of the Greek demigod Dionysus (god of