Theater History(Athene)



  • theater 喜剧
  • masks and wigs 面具和假发
  • costumes 服装
  • chorus 合唱
  • protagonist 主角
  • entertainment 娱乐
  • orchestra 管弦乐队
  • tragedies and comedies 悲剧和喜剧
  • satire 讽刺(悲剧和喜剧结合)
  • playwrights 剧作家

Ancient Theater(origins of western drama)

Theater is a place where the stories told on stage serve as entertainment and important social commentary. But the stories of theater really begins 2,000 years ago in ancient Athens. The first Greek theaters were semicircular offer built into the base of mountains.

They consisted of an orchestra(合唱), the main stage where action takes place, a skene(backstage 舞台), the backstage area, and the theatron(观众席), where the audience would sit.

It thought that women sometimes attended the theater, but they were never allowed to perform. Even in a place like Antigone, which has a female protagonist(主角), men played all the roles.

The Dionysus Eleuthereus is the oldest theater in Greece (6th century BC). It was named after Dionysus, the Greek god of the arts. Every year it held a festival, where plays would be judged in a panel of spectators.

Two popular types of plays were tragedies and comedies. Famous playwrights(剧作家) who wrote tragedies, like Sophocles, use Greek mythology to explore their characters’ flaws and inspire their audience to think about their own behavior.

Famous commedias like Aristophanes, used satire and weight to poke fun with the city’s political leaders.

The chorus is an important part of ancient Greek plays, up to 50 performers spoke, sung, or dance in unicen and commented on the action, to help the audience to understand what was going on and how to feel about it.

In a democracy like Athens, theater provided a safe space where artists and audiences could come together and talk about their society. The state even paid citizens to attend plays, so they can learn more about the important issues they are explored.

Greek tragedies and comedies continue to inspire theater and other forms of entertainment today.

Have you seen a play whose message staged with you?

There were three main types of play. Comedies, made fun of famous people, such as celebrities and polititians, tragedies were serious, they were usually about heros, whose pride got the better of them, satire plays were a combination of comedy and tragedy.