actors - Adm performing in a Roman theater Like the races...

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Unformatted text preview: Adm performing in a Roman theater. Like the races and the gladiato~ rial combats, the Roman-.theate_r..-_wa_s a seculardiversion with ro_ots._ in “find-Etruscan- funer . $1.;But unlike the circus and arena, which bore an original if brutts Roman trademark. the theater remaineda Greek derivativevsrelying mainly on reworkings of the Hellenic reper- tory. With its emphasis on attracting a mass audience (the Theater'ol‘ Marcellus had a capacity of twenty thousand), the Roman theater lav- shed most of its energy on’spectacular sets, elaborate choreography, md- promoting- star Worship-OE the leading eaters-"whose faces were “53 ham to the public, Greek-style masks haying gradually fallen one of fashion. Even though slaves and criminals were occasionally brought on W to wife: In real life the executions-called for by the plot, the the- ater-was hard pres'sed'to-‘compete with the blood-drenched-spectacles of the-amphitheater- a-nd-circus; it was allotted far fewer festivaidays (forty-five under Augustus, compared to a hundred or more for races and fighting),-and performances usually took place in the-morning to avoid conflict with the far more popular games It was in the last two centuries of the Republic that Rome produced its only playwrights of real distinction: Gnaeus Naevius (c. 270—c. 200 B.C.), who pioneered the fabula togam (comedy with a Roman subject) and fabula praerexra (Roman historical tragedy); Plautus (254484 B.C.), considered by some the West’s first great comic playwright; and Terence (c. 186—c. 159 B.C.), who based most-of his plays-on the works of the Gréek playwright Menander. ...
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  • Fall '10
  • LilianHaeger

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