Chap4 - Part 2: Varieties of Theatrical Experience...

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Unformatted text preview: Part 2: Varieties of Theatrical Experience Awareness of past theatrical practices: Enriches current and future practices Enlightens us to cultural assumptions and values of various times and places Oscar Brockett Author of The Essential Theatre, Eighth Edition Until the 16 th century, Western Theatre: Performed primarily at festivals Financed by community Performed by community Occurred for brief periods each year Presented as offering to a god Presented for enjoyment of general public Flourished in Greece , Rome , medieval Europe Chapter 4: Festival Theatre Until the 16 th century, Western Theatre: Performed primarily at festivals Financed by community Performed by community Occurred for brief periods each year Presented as offering to a god Presented for enjoyment of general public Flourished in Greece , Rome , medieval Europe Chapter 4: Festival Theatre Greek, Roman, and Medieval Theatrical Experiences The Theatre of Ancient Greece Origins of Western Theatre traced to Ancient Greece Ancient Greek Beliefs: Humans can make significant decisions Democracy Not all people are equal: Greeks kept slaves and denied women any public role in society Happiness depends upon harmony between human and supernatural forces Numerous gods: conceived of as immortal human beings with flaws The Theatre of Ancient Greece Greek Drama: Emphasizes attempts of humans to control own destinies Tragedies often focus on results of attempting to escape fate Presented exclusively at festivals honoring the god Dionysus = god of wine and fertility Festivals: By 5 th century, Athens held 4 festivals per year in honor of Dionysus 3 of 4 festivals including theatrical performances Major Festival = City Dionysia City Dionysia Religious and Civic celebration 534 B.C. = first recorded contest for Best Tragedy Winner = Thespis Competition = 3 dramatists compete Each presents 3 tragedies and 1 satyr play satyr play = short, comic play poking fun at a Greek myth using a chorus of satyrs (half-man/half-goat characters) 5 days of performances Performances started at dawn and probably lasted all day Plays open to everyone, but primary audience = men and boys City Dionysia 3 tragedies x 3 playwrights = 9 tragedies per City Dionysia 9 tragedies x 100 years = 900 tragedies during 5 th century B.C. 32 plays have survived All 32 plays written by 3 dramatists: Aeschylus (523-456 B.C.) Sophocles (496-406 B.C.) Euripides (480-406 B.C.) Sophocles Oedipus often considered the best The Theatre of Dionysus Location: slope of hill beneath Athenian Acropolis Theatron = seeing place Stadium-like stone seats Capacity = 14,000-17,000 Orchestra = dancing place Main performance space Circular 65 ft. in diameter The Theatre of Dionysus Thymele = alter to Dionysus Originally located at center of orchestra...
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This note was uploaded on 12/07/2011 for the course THE 1000 taught by Professor Chu during the Spring '10 term at Santa Fe College.

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Chap4 - Part 2: Varieties of Theatrical Experience...

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