Number of page: 116
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Performing Arts
Contemporary productions on stage and film, and the development of theater studies, continue to draw new audiences to ancient Greek drama. With observations on all aspects of performance, this volume fills their need for a clear, concise account of what is known about the original conditions of such productions in the age of Pericles.
Reexamining the surviving plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, Graham Ley here discusses acting technique, scenery, the power and range of the chorus, the use of theatrical space, and parody in their plays. In addition to photos of scenes from Greek vases that document theatrical performance, this new edition includes notes on ancient mime and puppetry and how to read Greek playtexts as scripts, as well as an updated bibliography. An ideal companion to The Complete Greek Tragedies, also published by the University of Chicago Press, Ley’s work is a concise and informative introduction to one of the great periods of world drama.
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The Theatricality of Greek Tragedy: Playing Space and Chorus
Ancient Greek tragedy has been an inspiration to Western culture but the way it was first performed has long remained in question In The Theatricality of Greek Tragedy Graham Ley provides an illuminating discussion of key issues relating to the use of the playing space and the nature of the chorus offering a distinctive impression of the performance of Greek tragedy in the fifth century BCE Drawing on evidence from the surviving texts of tragedies by Aeschylus Sophocles and Euripides Ley explains how scenes with actors were played in the open ground of the orchestra often considered as exclusively the dancing place of the chorus In reviewing what is known of the music and dance of Greek antiquity Ley goes on to show that in the original productions the experience of the chorus expressed in song and dance and in interaction with the characters remained a vital characteristic in the performance of tragedy Combining detailed analysis with broader reflections about the nature of ancient Greek tragedy as an art form this volume supplemented with a series of illustrative drawings and diagrams will be a necessary addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in literature theater or classical studies
Greek Theatre Performance: An Introduction
In this fascinating and accessible book David Wiles introduces ancient Greek theatre to students and enthusiasts interested in knowing how the plays were performed Theatre was a ceremony bound up with fundamental activities in ancient Athenian life and Wiles explores those elements which created the theatre of the time Actors rather than writers are the book s main concern and Wiles examines how the actor used the resources of story telling dance mask song and visual action to create a large scale event that would shape the life of the citizen community The book assumes no prior knowledge of the ancient world and is written to answer the questions of those who want to know how the plays were performed what they meant in their original social context what they might mean in a modern performance and what can be learned from and achieved by performances of Greek plays today
Sophocles and the Tragedy of Athenian Democracy
The Athenian democracy of the 5th century B C created the most important political theatre of western culture Sophocles the most successful tragic playwright of the age was a radical innovator who produced his tragedies to present to his audience complex moral social and political issues of a kind that they might be faced with in their various legal and political assemblies Beer examines Sophocles as a political playwright against the background of Athenian democracy breaking new ground by showing the importance of the mask for understanding Sophoclean tragedy and redefining the notion of skenographia or setting the scene He concludes that Sophocles revolutionized the concept of dramatic space The Athenian tragic theatre was deeply political and played an important and active role in the life of Athenian democracy This book presents an introduction to the political nature of Greek tragedy and Sophoclean tragedy in an effort to shed new light on the dramatic works of the 5th century playwright As Aristotle noted Sophocles two most important innovations were the introduction of the third actor and skenographia which brought tragedy to its fully evolved form Beer argues that although his use of the third actor has been widely understood his use of skenographia has not Carefully exploring the true sense of this method of using dramatic space Beer brings a new understanding to the works of this old master
The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Theatre
This series of essays by prominent academics and practitioners investigates in detail the history of performance in the classical Greek and Roman world Beginning with the earliest examples of dramatic presentation in the epic cycles and reaching through to the latter days of the Roman Empire and beyond this 2007 Companion covers many aspects of these broad presentational societies Dramatic performances that are text based form only one part of cultures where presentation is a major element of all social and political life Individual chapters range across a two thousand year timescale and include specific chapters on acting traditions masks properties playing places festivals religion and drama comedy and society and commodity concluding with the dramatic legacy of myth and the modern media The book addresses the needs of students of drama and classics as well as anyone with an interest in the theatre s history and practice