DRAMATIC EXERCISE You will hear phrases read aloud that are in your common vocabulary. As each phrase is read, experience the feeling as best you can. You will close your eyes and take each phrase slowly, allowing time to feel and react to the expressions.
History of Drama Lesson 2
Ancient Greece • Drama began as a religious rite to the god of wine, DIONYSUS in 5th CENTURY B.C. • Dionysus is also known as BACCHUS.
Ancient Greece Cont’d • Originally, the plays were chanted by a “chorus” of 50 MEN. • Eventually, THESPIS, a Greek playwright, had one member of the chorus step out and assume the role of a character. • Thus, the FIRST actor was added to the concept of theater.
Chorus • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD8rmXwG9ZQ
Ancient Greece cont’d • AESCHYLUS: a writer of tragedy or a “TRAGEDIAN” who added the second actor. • SOPHOCLES: another dramatist, added the third.
Cont’d • Finally, the characters could converse in a “crude” type of dialogue. • However, adding dialogue did not mean the end of the chorus. • It was there, often representing the elders of the city or even a major character’s conscience.
~The Amphitheater~ • Other unique aspects of Greek theater were the direct result of compromises needed to perform the plays in huge OPEN-AIR AMPHITHEATERS. • Plays were performed only in broad DAYLIGHT.
The Amphitheater Cont’d • Although theaters seating thousands of people are fairly common today, they are designed to an acoustical perfection with balcony seating and elaborate lighting to allow the audience to see and hear the action from every angle.
Cont’d… • To stand out, actors had to implement a few innovative and elaborate solutions: • CATHURNI: high platform shoes that added almost twelve inches of height. • MASKS: another bit of costuming that added to the actor’s larger-than-life visibility. • The mask portrayed character to the distant seats of the amphitheater. • The mouthpiece of the mask has a RESONATING CHAMBER, a kind of megaphone, to help project the voice.
Cathurni Greek Mask