Greek & Roman Theatre

amphitheatre
large oval, circular, or semi circular outdoor theatre with rising tiers of seats around an open playing area
atellan farce
Form of Roman theatre; improvised comedic pieces dealing with exaggerated family situations or satirizing historical or mythological figures.
orchestra
the cirrcular, level space where the chorus would sing, dance, and interact with the actors who were on stage.
theatron
from the Greek term for “seeing place,” the seating area in ancient Greek theatres.
satyr play
a ribald drama of ancient Greece, with a chorus of satyrs (merry, riotous, half-goat-half-human followers of the wine-god) or satyr-like characters, written to be performed following a trilogy of tragedies at the springtime Dionysian Festival; this type of play usually mocked the weighty themes and conventions of tragedy as a form of relieving tensions they had generated
climatic drama
Dramatic structure, developed in classical Greece and popular with modern realists, in which the dramatic action begins near the climax; usually few characters, few locales, much exposition, and only one main action in a short span of time;
plot unravels like a mystery;
Evident in a number of dramas, especially by Aeschylus and Sophocles
old comedy
Classical Greek comedy that pokes fun at social, political, or cultural conditions and at individuals. The only surviving examples are by Aristophanes., -satirical, grotesque, bawdy, absurd
ex: Aristophanes- “Lysistrata”
greek chorus
part of a greek drama, would provide commentary on the events of the drama as the collective voice of the common people (citizens, preists, noblemen). used dance and song to perform their lines
fabula pallieta
Roman plays from from Greek Model and translations.
The surviving Roman comedies are all based on Greek models. Changes included 1. elimination of the chorus (which Greek writers had used to divide the action into episodes); 2. addition of musical accompaniment to much of the dialogue (quite possibly an Etruscan influence); 3. an emphasis on eavesdropping, which led to frequent misunderstandings and complications.
thespian
an actor, or relating to acting; from Thespis, Greek poet/dramatist
aristotle’s poetics
Plot. Character. Thought. Diction. Music. Spectacle
agon
In classical Greek Old Comedy, a scene with a debate between the two opposing forces in a play
trilogy
a set of three related plays
parabasis
scene in classical greek old comedy in which the chorus directly addresses the audience members and makes fun of them
protagonist
the main character in fiction or drama. *usually round, dynamic characters whose conflict sets the plot in motion.
dionysus
god of fertility, wine, revelry, theater
scanea frons
In Roman theatre, the ornate three-dimensional façade of the stage building
scaena
scene, stage house in a roman theatre
greek tragedy formula
-tragedy divided into 4 parts: prologue, episode, exode, choric song, written by Aristotle
hamartia
a fatal flaw leading to the downfall of a tragic hero or heroine., Fatal flaw
periaktoi
Scene design advice shaped lie a tall wedge of cheese. Each side has a painted part of the design. Three sided scene device unit used in Greek times
colosseum
Ancient Roman arena known for its tremendous architecture and bloody entertainments of of gladitorial contests, mock sea battles, (amphitheater). , arena in Rome in which 50,000 people could watch the gladiators fight
proedria
Front-row seats reserved for political and religious dignitaries
thymele
is an Alter placed in the center of the Orchestra for Dionysus
paraskenia
side wings of the skene
proskenion
the bottom level of the skene, or stage house.
dithyramb
a long hymn, sung and danced by 50 men
katharsis
The end of the tragedy meaning purgation, cleansing of the tragic emotions of pity and fear.
thyromata
Hellenistic Greece, large openings into the second story of the skene.
property (prop)
anything that an actor handles onstage as well as furniture and other items used to enhance the set.
classical drama
the drama of ancient Greece and Rome
ludi romani
Roman festival in honor of Jupiter into which drama was first introduced.
naumachia
In ancient Rome, sea battles staged in a flooded amphitheater or on a lake.
siparium
In Roman theatre, a painted backdrop curtain at the rear of the stage
ars poetica
a term meaning “The Art of Poetry” or “On the Nature of Poetry” , Written by poet Horace, “the art of poetry,” the only Latin treatise on dramatic criticism still in existence
mime
In ancient Greece and Rome, a form of theatrical entertainment that consisted of short dramatic sketches characterized by jesting and buffoonery.
mechane
In ancient Greek theatres, a crane that could fly actors in over the skene to land gently in the orchestra or hover overhead.
deus ex machane
God from machiene (contrived ending)
city dionysia
The most important Greek festival in honor of the god Dionysus; it was staged in Athens in the spring and was the first to include dramatic activities.
pinake
In ancient Greek theatre, painted flats
auleum
Roman theatre, a front curtain that was raised and lowered on telescoping poles.
cavea
The Roman version of the theatron or seating area for the audience.
onkos
Headdress worn by some Greek actors to increase their height and, thus, visibility to theater audiences.
pulpitum
Raised stage in Roman theatre
doubling
the playing of one or more character in a play by the same actor.
tetralogy
a group of four dramas, three tragedies and one satyr play
hypokrite
The ancient greek word for actor, means literally “answerer”
proagon
(literally “before the debate”) Preparation day for the City Dionysia, occurring the day before the actual beginning of the festival, at which all contestants are assembled, play titles announced, etc.
ekkylema
wheeled platform that wheeled “dead” actors back on stage
tragic hero
Character of noble stature and has greatness, who suffers from a tragic flaw that leads to their downfall.
skene
in ancient Greece, a stage house upstage of the circular orchestra, small hut like building behind the stage used as a dressing room and later as a backdrop for painted settings
senecan tragedy
tragic drama modeled on plays wirtten by seneca. The genere usually has five acts and features a chorus; it is notable for its thematic concern with bloodshed, revenge and unnatural crimes
hubris
excessive pride or arrogance that results in the downfall of the protagonist of a tragedy
teatro olimpico
• The oldest surviving theatre constructed during the Italian Renaissance
• Originally designed by the architect Andrea Palladio for the Olympic Academy in that city
• When Palladio died, Vincenzo Scamozzi completed the building
• The premiere production was Sophocles’ King Oedipus
• Designed as a miniature indoor Roman theatre
• The ornate façade of the scene house, patterned after the Roman scaena frons, was designed to look like a street
new comedy
Hellenistic Greek and Roman comedies that deal with romantic and domestic situations.
Plautus
most popular Roman comic playwright; slapstick; bawdy humor; simple plots; used mistaken identity, and wrote “Menachmi” and “The Pot of Gold”. Shakespeare modelled his “Comedy of Errors” after his work
Aristophanes
Only remaining example of Old Comedy playwright; wrote topical, satirical and social/political plays; honored for verse and wit., Lysistrata, The Clouds, The Birds;
Considered the father of Greek comedy.
Menander
Master of New Comedy; plays deal with domestic situations and use colloquial speech patterns., Greek New Comedy playwright, “The Grouch”
Thespis
Who is known as the creator of Greek tragedy because legend says he is the first to step away from the chorus and speak or act the part of the main character
Seneca
wrote tragedies based on Greek plays; onstage violence; plays not staged; revenge; influenced Shakespeare with 5-act structure, Thyestes
archon
Athenian government official appointed to oversee the staging of drama at the City Dionysia festival.
Terence
All 6 of his plays survive; dramatist of ancient Rome (born in Greece) whose comedies were based on works by Menander, This roman playwright was considered the first African playwright of the Western world , Comic Plays: Adelphoe, Phormio
Horace
Roman poet who said the purpose of Drama was to teach and entertain. Roman Aristotle
Sophocles
1. added a third actor 2. raised chorus number to 15 3. tight plot construction
, Greek writer of tragedies; author of Oedipus Rex and Antigone
Euripides
one of the greatest tragic dramatists of ancient Greece (480-406 BC). IN his plays, he focused on morality and patriotism and included more women characters than other authors, but he was criticized for focusing too much on emotion and pretty words and not enought on having a strong structure to his play. , wrote ‘Medea’
dominus
leader of a roman acting troupe
Homer
ancient Greek epic poet who is believed to have written the Iliad and the Odyssey (circa 850 BC)
Aeschylus
First greek tragedy writer, wrote 90 plays, gods provided justice in all plays. first to introduce the idea of having 2 actors, costumes, props, and stage decorations, best-known plays is a group called the Oresteia including the play Agamemnon, reduced chorus from 50 to 12
chorodidaskalos
In ancient Greek theatre, the person who trained and rehearsed the chorus.
Arion
harpist and poet, moved dithyramb towards drama by interspersing spoken sections with the musical portions.
choregus
In ancient Greece, a wealthy person who underwrote most of the expenses for the production of an individual playwright’s works at a dramatic festival.
agonthetes
In Hellenistic Greece, the government official responsible for producing plays for festivals.