Detailed map Greek Theatre Patron Information Recently named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the top 10 amphitheaters in America, the William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre known to most simply as "The Greek" is a favorite performance venue of artists and audiences alike and is renowned for its intimate setting and spectacular views. We hope the following information will properly introduce you to this well-loved venue order to make your experience as positive as possible: Your Seats Seating at the Greek varies from the temporary folding seats set up in the pit area premium seats and lower Sections A-F to the stone bench seating in Sections above.
The Greek Theatre Selections from: The Book of the Ancient Greeks: The Greek drama began as a religious observance in honour of Dionysus. To the Greeks this god personified both spring and the vintage, the latter a very important time of year in a vine-growing country, and he was a symbol to them of that power there is in man of rising out of himself, of being impelled onwards by a joy within him that he cannot explain, but which makes him go forward, walking, as it were, on the wings of The early history of the greek theatre wind, of the spirit that fills him with a deep sense of worship.
We call this power enthusiasma Greek word which simply means the god within us. From very early times, stories of his life were recited at the religious festivals held in honour of Dionysus, and then stories of other gods and of the ancient heroes were told as well. It was from these beginnings that the drama came.
Originally, the story was told in the form of a song, chanted at first by everyone taking part in the festival, and later by a chorus of about fifty performers, and at intervals in the song the leader would recite part of the story himself.
By degrees the recitation became of greater importance than the song; it grew longer, and after a time two people took part in it and then three; at the same time the chorus became smaller and of less importance in the action of the drama, until at last it could consist of only fifteen performers.
A Greek drama was in many ways much simpler than a modern drama. There were fewer characters, and usually only three speaking actors were allowed on the stage at once. There was only one story told and there was nothing to take the attention of the audience away from this. The Chorus, though it no longer told the story, was very important, for it set the atmosphere of the play, and lyrics of haunting loveliness hinted at the tragedy that could not be averted, because of terrible deeds done in the past, or if, indeed, there might be any help, the imagination was carried forward on wings of hope.
The Chorus also served another purpose. In the modern drama, when the tragedy of a situation becomes almost too great for the audience to bear, relief is often found in some comic, or partly comic, episode which is introduced to slacken the tension.
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Shakespeare does this constantly. But comic episodes were felt to be out of place in a Greek drama, and therefore when a tragic scene had taken place, the Chorus followed it by a song of purest poetry. In one play of Euripides, a terrible scene of tragedy was followed by a song in which the Chorus prayed for escape from such sorrows on the wings of a bird to a land where all was peace and beauty.
Could I take me to some cavern for mine hiding, In the hill-tops where the Sun scarce hath trod; Or a cloud make the home of mine abiding, As a bird among the bird-droves of God. And the song goes on the carry the imagination to a spot Where a voice of living waters never ceaseth In God's quiet garden by the sea, And Earth, the ancient life-giver, increaseth Joy among the meadows, like a tree.
Hippolytustranslated by Gilbert Murray. In the great Greek dramas, the Chorus is a constant reminder that, though they cannot understand or explain them, there are other powers in the world than the wild passions of men.
The great dramatic festival of Athens was held in the spring in the theatre of Dionysus, to the south-east of the Acropolis. The theatre in Athens never became an everyday amusement, as it is today, but was always directly connected with the worship of Dionysus, and the performances were always preceded by a sacrifice.
The festival was only held once a year, and whilst it lasted the whole city kept holiday.
Originally, admission to the theatre was free, but the crowds became so great and there was such confusion and sometimes fighting in the rush for good seats, that the state decided to charge an admission fee and tickets had to be bought beforehand.
But even then there were no reserved seats, except for certain officials who sat in the front row. In the time of Pericles, complaints were made that the poorer citizens could not afford to buy tickets, and so important was the drama then considered, that it was ordered that tickets should be given free to all who applied for them.
An Athenian audience was very critical, and shouts and applause, or groans and hisses showed its approval or disapproval of the play being acted. Several plays were given in one day, and a prize was awarded to the best, so the audience was obliged to start at dawn and would probably remain in the theatre until sunset.
Let us go with an Athenian audience and see a play which was first performed in the latter half of the fifth century B. Theatre at Epidaurus The theatre is a great semi-circle on the slope of the Acropolis, with rows of stone seats on which about eighteen thousand spectators can sit.
The front row consists of marble chairs, the only seats in the theatre which have backs, and these are reserved for the priests of Dionysus and the chief magistrates.
Beyond the front row, is a circular space called the orchestra, where the Chorus sings, and in the centre of which stands the altar of Dionysus. Behind the orchestra, is the stage on which the actors will act, at the back of which is a building painted to look like the front of a temple or a palace, to which the actors retire when they are not wanted on the stage or have to change their costumes.
That is the whole theatre and all its stage scenery. Overhead is the deep blue sky, the Acropolis rises up behind, and the olive-laden hills are seen in the distance.
Much will have to be left to the imagination, but the very simplicity of the outward surroundings will make the audience give all their attention to the play and the acting.
When the play begins, there will only be three actors on the stage at once. They will wear very elaborate costumes, and a strange-looking wooden sole called a cothurnus or buskin, about six inches high, on their shoes, to make them look taller and more impressive, and over their faces a curious mask with a wide mouth, so that everyone in that vast audience will hear them.
Scholars today do not believe that the masks worn in Greek drama were used as "megaphones. Rather, the exaggerated expressions on the masks were part of the stylized "look" of Greek theatre, a style that combined ritualized exaggeration with simplicity to better convey the sense of the drama to a large audience.
When there is a pause in the action, the Chorus will fill up the time with their song. If it is a tragedy, we shall not see the final catastrophe on the stage, but a messenger will appear who will give us an account of what has happened.Chorus, in drama and music, those who perform vocally in a group as opposed to those who perform singly.
The chorus in Classical Greek drama was a group of actors who described and commented upon the main action of a play with song, dance, and recitation. Greek Theatre Patron Information. Recently named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the top 10 amphitheaters in America, the William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre (known to most simply as "The Greek") is a favorite performance venue of artists and audiences alike and is renowned for its intimate setting and spectacular views.
We hope the following information will properly introduce you to. The ancient Greek drama was a theatrical culture that flourished in ancient Greece from BC.
The city-state of Athens, which became a significant cultural, political, and military power during this period, was its center, where it was institutionalised as part of a festival called the Dionysia, which honored the god Dionysus. Tragedy (late BC), comedy ( BC), and the satyr play were.
Ancient Greek Theater. The theater of Dionysus, Athens (Saskia, Ltd.) This page is designed to provide a brief introduction to Ancient Greek Theater, and to provide tools for further research. Sep 03, · Watch video · Between B.C. and B.C., Greek colonies sprang up from the Mediterranean to Asia Minor, from North Africa to the coast of the Black Sea.
By the end of the seventh century B.C., there were. The ancient Greek drama was a theatrical culture that flourished in ancient Greece from c. BC. The city-state of Athens, which became a significant cultural, political, and military power during this period, was its center, where it was institutionalised as part of a festival called the Dionysia, which honored the god Dionysus.
Tragedy (late BC), comedy .