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Ancient Greek Theater

            Twenty-five hundred years ago, 2 thousand years before Shakespeare, Western Theater was born in Athens, Greece. The ancient Athenians created a theater culture between 600 and 200 BC. They created plays that are still considered among the greatest works of art in theater. .
             Greek tragedy and comedy originated with the chores, and because of this, the most important part of the performance space was the orchestra. Tragic chores consisted of 12 to 15 dancers, unlike the three actors in 5th - century Athenian tragedy. Ordinarily, each actor would play many different roles, and to divide the speaking parts in a tragedy up by determining which characters were in the same scene. Occasionally, a single role would be divided between two or more actors, as in Sophocles Oedius at colonius. Sophocles, Aristotle was a philosopher that later on had very good ideas to put in plays. .
             The prose, the lyrics, and the dancing were the three composing elements of tragedy. The tragedy was beginning with the entrance of the chores or the orchestra auode, called Parados. The chores were also singing between the dialogic parts of the play, other songs called Stassima in ensemble or were divided into two groups called Henechoria.
             In it's final form, the theater seated 20,000 people and the distance of even the nearest spectators from the actors, more then ten meters away, created a non-naturalistic approach to the acting. Because of this, all gestures had to be large and definite, so that even the people in the back rows could clearly see and understand what it is that is going on. Facial expressions would have been invisible and meaningless to all but the very closest members of the audience. Therefore the masks worn by the performers had to be clear and understandable so that anyone in the theater could determine the expression. The masks of tragedy and comedy were of an ordinary, face-fitting size, with numerous styles and textures of wigs attached.

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