Description[ edit ] The ancient theatre the teatro greco, or "Greek theatre" is built for the most part of brick, and is therefore probably of Roman date, though the plan and arrangement are in accordance with those of Greek, rather than Roman, theatres; whence it is supposed that the present structure was rebuilt upon the foundations of an older theatre of the Greek period. The greater part of the original seats have disappeared, but the wall which surrounded the whole cavea is preserved, and the proscenium with the back wall of the scena and its appendages, of which only traces remain in most ancient theatres, are here preserved in singular integrity, and contribute much to the picturesque effect, as well as to the interest, of the ruin. From the fragments of architectural decorations still extant we learn that it was of the Corinthian orderand richly ornamented.
During which Christian festival were these early playlets performed? Quem Quaeritis was inserted into the Easter Mass. Within a short period of time, similar playlets were added to the Christmas and Epiphany services. What was the source of the stories which were dramatized?
How were these plays staged inside the church? As the playlets were extended and additional scenes were added, they were staged on a number of small "platforms" or mansions distributed around the perimeter of the church. Both the performer and the audience the congregation would move from one "platform" or scene to the next.
Giotto di Bondone used the same basic concept when he painted the twenty-three scenes of the Life of Christ Roman and greek theater the walls of the Cappella Scrovegni in Padua.
What was a mansion or station? The mansion, or station, was the scenic facade used to locate the action of the play. The plateau was the neutral playing area in front of the mansion on which the actors performed.
Who were the actors? Why, during the 13th century, were these plays moved out of the church? As the plays became longer and more complicated, it became more and more difficult to stage them indoors.
There was also the feeling that the action in some of the plays, such as the Slaughter of the Innocents from the Ordo Rachelis, an Epiphany Play, was too violent, too non-Christian, to be presented within the church.
When the dramatic production moved out doors, the plays were presented spoken, not sung in the vernacular the language of the people by laymen.
Although the dramas were still religious, they were no longer a part of worship. Who produced these plays after they left the church? These medieval unions provided the money and personal needed to present the plays.
The church continued to provide the scripts and directorial leadership. What is a pageant wagon? Pageant Wagon A pageant wagon held the mansion, the plateau, and a dressing area on one structure.
This wagon stage would then be moved from one gathering of audience to the next, much like a float in a parade. See the illustrations of a Pageant Wagon on page In which country was it used? How were these plays staged on the European continent? Setting of the Spearfish Passion Play The mansions were arranged in a line, creating a "street," at the rear of a long narrow platform.
At one end stage right of the street was the Entrance to Heaven or Paradise and at the other end stage left was Gate to Hell, the Hellsmouth. The Spearfish Passion Play used the continental approach to staging.
See the illustration of the Outdoor Stages at Valenciennes on page Scholars say theatre originated in Greece and was spread to Rome through Roman imperialism. The Romans adopted Greek theatre to their specific purposes. In the style of "Bread and Circuses," Roman. To the left is the ground plan of a typical Roman Theatre as published by William Smith in A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities ().
Note the semi-circular orchestra and cavea, the narrow stage (pulpitum), the scena frons with 18 columns and five openings, . Origins of Roman theatre.
Rome was founded in B.C.E as a monarchy under Etruscan rule, and remained as such throughout the first two and a half centuries of its existence. Following the expulsion of Rome's last king, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, or "Tarquin the Proud," circa B.C.E., Rome became a Republic, and was henceforth led by a group of magistrates elected by the Roman people.
HISTORY OF THEATRE including Origins, Tragedy, Comedy, The Greek theatre, Roman comedy. The Ancient Theatre Archive is a non-profit, educational project, located at Whitman College, USA. Research and Publication Partially Funded Through Grants from Whitman College, The United States Institute for Theatre Technology, The Benson Foundation .
Roman theater began before Roman culture began to emulate the Greeks. Little, though, is known of theater produced by Etruscans and other ancient cultures. The Roman plays that live on in written form were produced in Greek-style amphitheaters, and many of the plays were essentially rewritten.