The Greek theatre (AE theater) or Greek drama is a theatrical tradition that flourished in ancient Greece between c. Phonology North American English regional phonology In many ways compared to English English, North American English is conservative in its Phonology. Theatre (or theater, see spelling differences) is the branch of the Performing arts defined by Bernard Beckerman as what "occurs when one The term ancient Greece refers to the period of Greek history lasting from the Greek Dark Ages ca 550 and c. 220 BC. Athens, the political and military power in Greece during this era, was the centre of ancient Greek theatre. Athens (ˈæθənz Αθήνα Athina,) the Capital and largest city of Greece, dominates the Attica periphery as one of the world's Tragedy (late 6th century BC), comedy (486 BC), and satyr plays were some of the theatrical forms to emerge in the world. Comedy was one of two principal dramatic forms in ancient Greece the other being Tragedy. Satyr plays were an ancient Greek form of tragicomedy similar to the modern-day Burlesque style Greek theatre and plays have had a lasting impact on Western drama and culture. The term Western world, the West or the Occident ( Latin: occidens -sunset -west as distinct from the Orient) can have multiple meanings
The origin of western theatre is to be found in ancient Greece. The term ancient Greece refers to the period of Greek history lasting from the Greek Dark Ages ca It developed from a state festival in Athens, honoring the god Dionysus. A festival is an event usually and ordinarily staged by a local community which centers on some unique aspect of that community Athens (ˈæθənz Αθήνα Athina,) the Capital and largest city of Greece, dominates the Attica periphery as one of the world's Honor or Honour (see spelling differences) (the latter directly from the Latin word honos honoris) is the evaluation of a person's In Classical mythology, Dionysus or Dionysos (in Greek, Διόνυσος or Διώνυσος; associated with Roman The Athenian city-state exported the festival to its numerous allies in order to promote a common identity. A city-state is a Region controlled exclusively by a City, usually having Sovereignty.
The word τραγοιδία, from which the English word tragedy is derived, is a portmanteau of two Greek words: τράγος, the goat, which is akin to "gnaw", and ῳδή meaning song, from αείδειν, to sing. Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly  This explains the very rare archaic translation as "goat-men sacrifice song". The archaic period in Greece ( 750 BC 480 BC) is a period of Ancient Greek history At the least, it indicates a link with the practices of the ancient Dionysian cults. It is impossible, however, to know with certainty how these fertility rituals became the basis for tragedy and comedy.  Also, until the Hellenistic period, all tragedies were unique pieces written in honor of Dionysus, so that today we only have the pieces that were still remembered well enough to have been repeated when repetition of old tragedies became fashion. It was considered a decline of the original, one-time-played tragedy.
Greek tragedy as we know it was created in Athens some years before 534 BCE, when Thespis was the earliest recorded author. Events and trends 539 BC — Babylon is conquered by Cyrus, defeating Nabonidus; noted in such documents as that of Africanus Thespis of Icaria (present-day Icaria) (6th century BC is claimed to be the first person ever to appear on stage as an Actor in a play, although Being a winner of the first theatrical contest held at Athens, he was the exarchon, or leader, of the dithyrambs performed in and around Attica, especially at the rural Dionysia. The dithyramb was originally an ancient Greek hymn sung to the god Dionysus. The Dionysia was a large religious festival in ancient Athens in honor of the god Dionysus, the central event of which was the performance of tragedies By Thespis' time the dithyramb had evolved far away from its cult roots. Under the influence of heroic epic, Doric choral lyric and the innovations of the poet Arion, it had become a narrative, ballad-like genre. Thespis probably aided in the final transition from dithyramb to tragedy by adding characters who speak (rather than sing) with their own voice (rather than a single narrative chorus). Because of these, Thespis is often called the "Father of Tragedy"; however, his importance is disputed, and Thespis is sometimes listed as late as sixteenth in the chronological order of Greek tragedians. For example, the statesman Solon is credited with creating poems in which characters speak with their own voice, and spoken recitations, known as rhapsodes, of Homer's epics were popular in festivals prior to 534 B. Solon ( ancient Greek:, c 638 BC&ndash558 BC was an Athenian Statesman, Lawmaker and Lyric poet. A rhapsody in Music is a one-movement work that is episodic yet integrated free-flowing in structure featuring a range of highly contrasted moods colour and tonality Homer ( Ancient Greek:, Homēros) is a legendary ancient Greek epic Poet, traditionally said to be the author of the epic poems the C.  Thus, Thespis' true contribution to drama is unclear at best, but he is forever immortalized in a common term for performer, thespian.
The drama performances were important to the Athenians - this is made clear by the creation of a tragedy competition and festival in City Dionysia. The Dionysia was a large religious festival in ancient Athens in honor of the god Dionysus, the central event of which was the performance of tragedies This was organized possibly to foster loyalty among the tribes of Attica (recently created by Cleisthenes). Cleisthenes (Κλεισθένης also Clisthenes or Kleisthenes) was a noble Athenian of the Alcmaeonid family The festival was created roughly around 508 B. C. While no drama texts exist from the sixth century BC, we do know the names of three competitors besides Thespis: Choerilus, Pratinas, and Phrynichus. Each is credited with different innovations in the field.
More is known about Phrynichus. He won his first competition between 511 BC and 508 BC. Events and trends 519 BC — Zhou Jing Wang becomes King of the Zhou Dynasty of China. He produced tragedies on themes and subjects later exploited in the golden age such as the Danaids, Phoenician Women and Alcestis. He was the first poet we know of to use a historical subject - his Fall of Miletus, produced in 493-2, chronicled the fate of the town of Miletus after it was conquered by the Persians. Herodotus reports that "the Athenians made clear their deep grief for the taking of Miletus in many ways, but especially in this: when Phrynichus wrote a play entitled “The Fall of Miletus” and produced it, the whole theatre fell to weeping; they fined Phrynichus a thousand drachmas for bringing to mind a calamity that affected them so personally, and forbade the performance of that play forever. " He is also thought to be the first to use female characters (though not female performers). 
After the Great Destruction by the Persians in 480 BCE, the town and acropolis were rebuilt, and theatre became formalized and an even more major part of Athenian culture and civic pride. Events By place Greece May — King Xerxes I of Persia marches from Sardis and onto Thrace This century is normally regarded as the Golden Age of Greek drama. The centrepiece of the annual Dionysia, which took place once in winter and once in spring, was a competition between three tragic playwrights at the Theatre of Dionysus. The Theatre of Dionysus was a major open air theatre in Ancient Greece, built at the foot of the Athenian Acropolis and forming part of Each submitted three tragedies, plus a satyr play (a comic, burlesque version of a mythological subject). Burlesque is theatrical entertainment of broad and parodic humor which usually consists of comic skits (and sometimes a strip tease) Beginning in a first competition in 486 BCE, each playwright also submitted a comedy. Events By place Persian empire Egypt revolts against Persian rule
Aristotle claimed that Aeschylus added the second actor, and that Sophocles added the third actor. Apparently the Greek playwrights never put more than three actors on stage, except in very small roles (such as Pylades in Electra). No women appeared on stage; female roles were played by men. Violence was also never shown on stage. When somebody was about to die, they would take that person to the back to "kill" them and bring them back "dead. " The other people near the stage were the chorus which consisted of about 4-8 people who would stand in the back wearing black.
Although there were many playwrights in this era, only the work of four playwrights has survived in the form of complete plays. All are from Athens. These playwrights are the tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, and the comic writer Aristophanes. Aeschylus (ˈɛskɨləs or /ˈiːskɨləs/ Greek: Ασχύλος, Aischylos, 525 BC/524 BC 456 BC/455 BC was an ancient Greek Playwright Sophocles (ˈsɒfəkliːz Ancient Greek, sopʰoklɛ̂ːs circa Euripides ( Ancient Greek:) (ca 480 BC–406 BC was the last of the three great tragedians of classical Athens (the other two being Aeschylus Aristophanes (Ἀριστοφάνης ˌærɪˈstɒfəniːz in English ca Their plays, along with some secondary sources such as Aristotle, are the basis of what is known about Greek theatre. In Library and information science, Historiography and other areas of Scholarship, a secondary source is a Document or Recording Because of this, there is much that remains unknown about theatre.
The power of Athens declined following its defeat in the Peloponnesian War against the Spartans. From that time on, the theatre started performing old plays again. Although its theatrical traditions seem to have lost their vitality, Greek theatre continued into the Hellenistic period (the period following Alexander the Great's conquests in the fourth century BC). This article focuses on the cultural aspects of the Hellenistic age for the historical aspects see Hellenistic period. Alexander the Great ( or, Mégas Aléxandros; July 20 356 BC June 10 or June 11 323 BC also known as Alexander III of Macedon (el Ἀλέξανδρος Γ' The 4th century BC started the first day of 400 BC and ended the last day of 301 BC. However, the primary Hellenistic theatrical form was not tragedy but 'New Comedy', comic farces about the lives of ordinary citizens. Comedy was one of two principal dramatic forms in ancient Greece the other being Tragedy. The only extant playwright from the period is Menander. Menander ( Greek:, Menandros; ca 342&ndash291 BC Greek Dramatist, the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy, was the son One of New Comedy's most important contributions was its influence on Roman comedy, an influence that can be seen in the surviving works of Plautus and Terence. Titus Maccius Plautus (c 254–184 BCE commonly known as Plautus, was a Roman Playwright. Publius Terentius Afer (195/185&ndash159 BC better known as Terence, was a Playwright of the Roman Republic.
The plays had a chorus of up to fifty people, who performed the plays in verse accompanied by music, beginning in the morning and lasting until the evening. The performance space was a simple semi-circular space, the orchestra, where the chorus danced and sang. The orchestra, which had an average diameter of 78 feet, was situated on a flattened terrace at the foot of a hill, the slope of which produced a natural theatron, literally "watching place". Later, the term "theatre" came to be applied to the whole area of theatron, orchestra, and skené. The choragos was the head chorus member who could enter the story as a character able to interact with the characters of a play.
The theatres were originally built on a very large scale to accommodate the large number of people on stage, as well as the large number of people in the audience, up to fourteen thousand. Mathematics played a large role in the construction of these theatres, as their designers had to able to create acoustics in them such that the actors' voices could be heard throughout the theatre, including the very top row of seats. Acoustics is the interdisciplinary science that deals with the study of Sound, Ultrasound and Infrasound (all mechanical waves in gases liquids and solids The Greeks' understanding of acoustics compares very favourably with the current state of the art, as even with the invention of microphones, there are very few modern large theatres that have truly good acoustics. The first seats in Greek theatres (other than just sitting on the ground) were wooden, but around 499 BC the practice of inlaying stone blocks into the side of the hill to create permanent, stable seating became more common. They were called the "prohedria" and reserved for priests and a few most respected citizens.
In 465 BC, the playwrights began using a backdrop or scenic wall, which hung or stood behind the orchestra, which also served as an area where actors could change their costumes. Events By place Persian empire King Xerxes I of the Persian Empire, together with his eldest son is murdered by one of his Ministers It was known as the skené, or scene. In classical drama the skene was the background building which connected the platform stage in which costumes were stored and to which the Periaktoi (painted panels serving The death of a character was always heard, “ob skene”, or behind the skene, for it was considered inappropriate to show a killing in view of the audience. The English word 'obscene' is a derivative of 'ob skene. ' In 425 BCE a stone scene wall, called a paraskenia, became a common supplement to skenes in the theatres. A paraskenia was a long wall with projecting sides, which may have had doorways for entrances and exits. Just behind the paraskenia was the proskenion. The proskenion ("in front of the scene") was columned, and was similar to the modern day proscenium. Today's proscenium is what separates the audience from the stage. It is the frame around the stage that makes it look like the action is taking place in a picture frame.
Greek theatres also had entrances for the actors and chorus members called parodoi. Parodos (plural parodoi is a term used in Greek tragedy. An alternate spelling is "paridos The parodoi (plural of parodos) were tall arches that opened onto the orchestra, through which the performers entered. In between the parodoi and the orchestra lay the eisodoi, through which actors entered and exited. Eisodos (or eisodoi is a term used for Ancient Greek Plays in order to describe any of two passageways leading into the orchestra between Theatron and skenê By the end of the 5th century BCE, around the time of the Peloponnesian War, the skene, the back wall, was two stories high. In classical drama the skene was the background building which connected the platform stage in which costumes were stored and to which the Periaktoi (painted panels serving The upper story was called the episkenion. Some theatres also had a raised speaking place on the orchestra called the logeion.
There were several scenic elements commonly used in Greek theatre:
Tragedy and comedy were viewed as completely separate genres, and no plays ever merged aspects of the two. Comedy was one of two principal dramatic forms in ancient Greece the other being Tragedy. Satyr plays dealt with the mythological subject matter of the tragedies, but in a purely comedic manner. Satyr plays were an ancient Greek form of tragicomedy similar to the modern-day Burlesque style However, as they were written over a century after the Athenian Golden Age, it is not known whether dramatists such as Sophocles and Euripides would have thought about their plays in the same terms.
The comedy and tragedy masks have their origin in the theatre of ancient Greece. The masks were used to show the emotions of the characters in a play, and also to allow actors to switch between roles and play characters of a different gender. The earliest plays were called Satyrs; they were parodies of myths. Their style was much like what we know as Burlesque. Burlesque is theatrical entertainment of broad and parodic humor which usually consists of comic skits (and sometimes a strip tease)
The actors in these plays that had tragic roles wore a boot called a cothurnus that elevated them above the other actors. The actors with comedic roles only wore a thin soled shoe called a sock. A sock is a knitted or Woven type of Hosiery garment for enclosing the human foot For this reason, dramatic art is sometimes alluded to as “Sock and Buskin. The sock and buskin are two ancient symbols of Comedy and Tragedy. ”
In order to play female roles, actors wore a “prosterneda” (a wooden structure in front of the chest, to imitate female breasts) and “progastreda” in front of the belly.
Melpomene is the muse of tragedy and is often depicted holding the tragic mask and wearing cothurnus. Melpomène (Greek Μελπομένη mɛlˌpɒmɪˈni ("to sing" or "the one that is melodious", initially the Muse of Singing she then became the Muse In Greek mythology, the Muses ( Ancient Greek, hai moũsai: perhaps from the Proto-Indo-European root * men- "think" are Thalia is the muse of comedy and is similarly associated with the mask of comedy and comic’s socks. Thalia can refer to four distinct entities in Greek mythology, two of whom were daughters of Zeus, and a third of whom bore him sons
Much of what we know about Ancient Greek theatre is speculation, because very little literature from that time actually survived. Comedy was one of two principal dramatic forms in ancient Greece the other being Tragedy. Dyskolos ( translated as The Grouch, The Misanthrope, or Old Cantankerous) is an Ancient Greek comedy by Menander, the In contrast, the documents in Sanskrit from the first century B. C. E in India are numerous and well preserved. By looking at the relationship between ancient Indian drama and ancient Greek drama, it is possible to gain a greater insight into how Greek drama might actually have been performed.
Between the years of 180 and 30 B. C. E. , a Greek kingdom (the Bactrian Kingdom established by Alexander the Great) flourished in Northern India, where it was by that time changing into a Indo-Greek Kingdom. The Gr(aeco-Bactrian Kingdom was the easternmost part of the Hellenistic world covering Bactria and Sogdiana in Central Asia from 250 Alexander the Great ( or, Mégas Aléxandros; July 20 356 BC June 10 or June 11 323 BC also known as Alexander III of Macedon (el Ἀλέξανδρος Γ' The Indo-Greek Kingdom (or sometimes Graeco-Indian Kingdom) covered various parts of the northwest and northern Indian subcontinent during the last two centuries This kingdom established a Greek society, including cities based on the Greek polis, on the Indian subcontinent. No polis would be complete without a venue for drama, and so it was very likely that Greek drama was performed in Northern India during these years (this hypothesis is also supported by the discovery of a shard of a pot found in the Bactrian kingdom region depicting a scene from Sophocles' Antigone).
A series of invasions in Northern India in the years following 30 B. C. E. destroyed the Indo-Greek Kingdom of Bactria and dispersed many Greeks throughout the rest of India, where the Greek population grew thanks to the increasing trade and the establishment of Greek and Roman trading colonies along the Silk Roads. The Silk Road, or Silk Routes, are an extensive interconnected network of Trade routes across the Asian continent connecting East South and Western Asia with the There is no direct evidence that Greek theatre was performed in India, but as Greek theatre troupes travelled as far as Armenia and Spain, it is probable that some amount of Greek theatre made its way to India.
Bactrian Greeks adopted many aspects of the Indian culture, many converting to Buddhism and Hinduism. The cultural exchange between the Greeks and the Indians may also have included theatrical practices. Some aspects of Sanskrit Drama thought to have come from the Greeks are the 5-act form of a drama, and the use of the curtain as a dramatic device. But maybe there was much independent development in Sanskrit drama, because Indian plays had changes of time and setting between acts, while Greek plays did not. However, the discovery of a play from an Alexandrian Jew, in which both time and setting changed between acts, refutes this argument. The evidence that the use of the curtain was a consequence of exchange with Greek theater is that the Sanskrit term for curtain, Yavanika, means "something Greek," though the translation of "something" is debated. The curtain was used as a theatrical device in a fashion very similar to how they were used in Greek mime plays, that is it did not fall from above, but was a construction that could be hoisted from below the stage.
The relationship between Sanskrit drama and Greek mime in all likelihood involved a giving and receiving on both sides. There are parallels between the Indian sutradhara and sutradhari and the Greek archimimus and archimima. Evidence for the mutual influence as opposed to a receiving role of Sanskrit theater is that women, who were excluded all other forms of Greek drama but were performing in India well before any interaction with the Greeks, were allowed to perform in Greek mime.
Kutiyattam of Kerala is a form of Indian theatre that has survived intact from ancient times. Koodiyattam or Kutiyattam (kuːʈijaːʈːam is a form of Sanskrit theatre traditionally performed in the state of Kerala, India. Kutiyattam retains many performance aspects from ancient Sanskrit drama and potentially from Greek drama as well. Kutyattam and Greek drama very likely had much interaction given how closely they resemble each other in certain ways: both types of performance take place in temples; both do a mixture of dance, drama, and music (Indian nritha, nataka, and gana, and Greek mousikê); both use the same types of instruments (wind, cymbals, drums); and neither uses realistic scenery, but rather uses representations.
Insight into Greek actors' performances can perhaps be found through study of Kutiyattam. It is well known that correct and clear pronunciation was highly valued in Greek drama. The same is true of Kutiyattam. In Kutiyattam, diction must be slow so that the accompanying hand gestures, mudras, could be understood. The Greeks, too, had these hand gestures: cheironomia. Every word was associated with different hand gesture in both forms of drama, and as each word was required to be accompanied by its gesture, the performance of a Greek drama was certainly not quick. Performances may not have been as lengthy as Kutiyattam, which took days to weeks to complete, but it makes sense that it took - and in the dionysia festival is known to have taken - a complete day to do five fifteen-hundred line plays. The Dionysia was a large religious festival in ancient Athens in honor of the god Dionysus, the central event of which was the performance of tragedies 
Asian Theatre Indian Theatre See also Theatre in India, Sanskrit drama Folk theatre and dramatics can be traced to the religious ritualism AGON is a series of Episodic Adventure games for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows by Private Moon Studios. Comedy was one of two principal dramatic forms in ancient Greece the other being Tragedy. A Buskin is a knee- or calf-length Boot made of Leather or Cloth which laces closed but is open across the toes Comedy (from the Greek κωμωδίαkomodia has a popular meaning (any discourse generally intended to amuse especially in Television, Film, and Melpomène (Greek Μελπομένη mɛlˌpɒmɪˈni ("to sing" or "the one that is melodious", initially the Muse of Singing she then became the Muse Thalia can refer to four distinct entities in Greek mythology, two of whom were daughters of Zeus, and a third of whom bore him sons This article is about theatrical performances in ancient Rome