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.
LibraryThing Review Classical World describes this book as “a very useful summary of what is known with certainty or with probability.” ‘Summary’ is the wrong word. It is so brief you hardly notice you have read it. It
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
Modern Theories of Performance: From Stanislavski to Boal
The modern era in the theatre is remarkable for the extraordinary role and influence of theoretical practitioners whose writings have shaped our sense of the possibilities and objectives of performance This study offers a critical exploration of the theoretical writings of key modern practitioners from Stanlislavski to Boal Designed to be read alongside primary source material each chapter offers not only a summary and exposition of these theories but a critical commentary on their composition as discourses Close scrutiny of the cultural context and figurative language of these important and sometimes difficult texts yields fresh insight into the ideas of these practitioners
Public and Performance in the Greek Theatre
Peter Arnott discusses Greek drama not as an antiquarian study but as a living art form He removes the plays from the library and places them firmly in the theatre that gave them being Invoking the practical realities of stagecraft he illuminates the literary patterns of the plays the performance disciplines and the audience responses Each component of the productions audience chorus actors costume speech is examined in the context of its own society and of theatre practice in general with examples from other cultures Professor Arnott places great emphasis on the practical staging of Greek plays and how the buildings themselves imposed particular constraints on actors and writers alike Above all he sets out to make practical sense of the construction of Greek plays and their organic relationship to their original setting
Orestes was one of Euripides most popular plays in antiquity Its plot which centres on Orestes murder of his mother Clytemnestra and its aftermath is exciting as well as morally complex its presentation of madness is unusually intense and disturbing it deals with politics in a way which has resonances for both ancient and modern democracies and it has a brilliantly unexpected and ironic ending Nevertheless Orestes is not much read or performed in modern times Why should this be so Perhaps it is because Orestes does not conform to modern audiences expectations of what a Greek tragedy should be This book makes Orestes accessible to modern readers and performers by explicitly acknowledging the gap between ancient and modern ideas of tragedy If we are to appreciate what is unusual about the play we have to think in terms of its impact on its original audience What did they expect from a tragedy and what would they have made of Orestes