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Theater of Dionysus

Page history last edited by Bradley Wilson 13 years, 1 month ago

 Bradley, Meghan, Omead

Early Greek Theaters



     Early Greek theaters were most likely little more than open areas next to hillsides or in a central part of a city. The audience would either stand or sit to watch the plays, mostly about Greek gods or heroes. Many greek theaters were located near sanctuaries because of theatre's close connection with religion. Around the sixth century BC to the fourth and third centuries BC there was a gradual increase in more elaborate theater structures, but the basic layout of the Greek theater stayed similar. The seating was often designed so that people in a similar class would sit together, usually meaning the rich would have better seats than the poor. The contents of a typical Greek theater included an orchestra, skene, parodos, and a theatron. The orchestra, which was normally circular, was where the chorus would sing and dance. As time went on the orchestra evolved from hard earth to being paved with marble. It was also not rare to find an altar in most chorus'. The skene was located directly behind the stage and was decorated according to the play. It looked much like a tent and contained doors where actors could make entrances and exits as well as roof access. The parados were paths where both the chorus and some actors could make appearences and exits. The audience also used these pathways to get in and out of the theater. The theatron, which overlooks the orchestra, was where the audience sat. The seating was usually terraced. As time went on these seats went from boards and cushions to marble. Some early theaters include the temple of Apollo at Delphi, Epidaurus, and the Theater of Dionysus. (Adams)

The God Dionysus 

The Greek theatre of Dionysus grew from the origin of the god Dionysus, the wine god. He was also the god of madness, vegetation and theater.                                                                                 <http://z.hubpages.com/u/271639_f260.jpg>


Dionysus, also known as Bacchus, was the son of Zeus and Semele. He was one of the twelve Olympians, who sat atop Mt. Olympus. His symbol is the thyrsus.

The folowers of Dionysus often formed cults in which death is a major part. They often carried a staff containing his symbol. Another one of his domains is water. According to myth, when he was being chased through the forest by Lycurgus and he fled to the sea where he was sheltered by Thetis.(Thompson)


Theater of Dionysus


The Theater of Dionysus was a large open air theater found in the Athenian Acropolis in Ancient Greece. It is surrounded by the Tenemos, or sacred grounds. Constucted in the fourth century BC, it was first built of wood and was later reconstructed of stone. The theater was found built into a hill on the East side of the Acropolis. The orchestra of the theater of Dionysus in Athens was about 60 feet in diameter. The stage was about two or three


steps above the orchestra, and  was probably about 25 feet wide and 10 feet deep. The present remains of the Theateter of Dionysus goes back to the rule of the Roman emperor Hadrian. From the existing remains you can see the favored seating given to the higher classes such as the priests in the front row center there is elaborate carving and inscription.(ABC-Clio)















Works Cited
ABC-CLIO. "Theater of Dionysus in Athens." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. 2008. ABC-CLIO. 
     4 Dec. 2008 <http://www.ancienthistory.abc-clio.com/>. 
Adams, Laurie Schneider. "Greek Theater." Art Across Time. 1999. 
Thompson, Kristi. "Dionysus." netTrekker. 9 Dec. 2008 <http://school.nettrekker.com/tts/ 


Comments (1)

Cris Salazar said

at 2:05 pm on Dec 5, 2008


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