The Greek theatre background began with festivals honoring your gods. A god, Dionysus, to be honored with a festival dubbed by "City Dionysia". In Athens, during this festival, men used to perform songs to welcome Dionysus. Theatre were only presented in ~ City Dionysia festival.

Athens to be the main center for this theatrical traditions. Athenians spread out these festivals to its plenty of allies in bespeak to encourage a common identity.

At the at an early stage Greek festivals, the actors, directors, and also dramatists were all the very same person. After part time, just three actors were permitted to perform in each play. Later couple of non-speaking roles were enabled to do on-stage. Due to limited number the actors allowed on-stage, the chorus developed into a very active component of Greek theatre. Music was frequently played during the chorus" distribution of that lines.

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Panoramic view of the Greek theatre at Epidaurus.

Tragedy, comedy, and also satyr plays were the theatrical forms.

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Tragedy and comedy were viewed as totally separate genres. Satyr plays dealt with the mythological subject in comic manner. Aristotle"s Poetics sets out a thesis around the perfect framework for tragedy.

Tragedy theatre

Thespis is taken into consideration to it is in the very first Greek "actor" and also originator of tragedy (which method "goat song", possibly referring to goats sacrificed to Dionysus before performances, or come goat-skins worn by the performers.) However, his importance is disputed, and also Thespis is sometimes provided as late together sixteenth in the chronological stimulate of Greek tragedians.

Aristotle"s Poetics save on computer the earliest recognized theory about the origins of Greek theatre. He states that tragedy evolved from dithyrambs, songs sung in prayer of Dionysus in ~ the Dionysia each year. The dithyrambs may have begun as frenzied improvisations but in the 600s BC, the poet Arion is attributed with occurring the dithyramb into a formalized rigid sung by a chorus.

Three famous Greek tragedy playwrights that the fifth century are Sophocles, Euripides and also Aeschylus.

Comedy plays

Comedy was also an important part of old Greek theatre. Comedy theatre were acquired from imitation; there are no traces the its origin. Aristophanes wrote many of the comedy plays. The end of this 11 plays endured - Lysistrata, a feeling tale about a strong woman that leads a female coalition to end war in Greece.

Greek Theatre

Theatre buildings were called a theatron. The theaters were large, open-air structures created on the slopes the hills. They had three key elements: the orchestra, the skene, and the audience.

Orchestra: A large circular or rectangular area at the center component of the theatre, wherein the play, dance, religious rites, acting provided to take place.

Skene: A large rectangular building situated behind the orchestra, offered as a backstage. Gibbs could change their costumes and also masks. Previously the skene to be a time or hut, later on it ended up being a permanent rock structure. These structures were periodically painted to offer as backdrops.

Rising indigenous the one of the orchestra to be the audience. The theatres were originally developed on a very big scale to accommodate the huge number of people on stage, and also the big number of civilization in the audience, as much as fourteen thousand.


The actors of a Greek beat in the Dionysia was consisted of of amateurs, not experts (all male).

Ancient Greek actors had actually to gesture grandly so the the entire audience could see and hear the story. But most Greek theatres were cleverly built to transmit also the the smallest sound to any kind of seat.

Costumes and Masks

The actors were so much away indigenous the audience the without the help of exaggeration costumes and also masks.

The masks were made that linen or cork, therefore none have survived. Tragic masks brought mournful or pained expressions, if comic masks were smiling or leering.

The shape of the mask amplified the actor"s voice, making his words simpler for the audience to hear.