The concept of greek theater it is used in different ways. The expression may refer to the works of theater created and represented at the time of Ancient Greece, or refer to type of construction of theater venues that was common in those years.
The idea of Greek theater, therefore, can mention the theatrical shows that developed in Greece between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC. They took place in open-air circular spaces: the action it took place in the center and the public was located around the interpreters.
This theater was not conceived, however, as a show according to what we understand today by that notion. The Greek theater, in this sense, had ritual and religious purposes. Many times it was about celebrations.
First of all, it is worth mentioning the great importance that myths and legends They had in Greek literature, where we find dozens of stories that lead us to go through incredible adventures at the hands of heroes and gods, always from a perspective loaded with symbols that became part of the culture. In this context it is possible to distinguish between two cycles: trojan, where we find the heroes and families who stood out in the Trojan war, such as Menelaus, Agamemnon, Orestes and Electra; the I bath you, with characters such as Antigone, Oedipus, Polynices and Eteocles, as well as the gods Zeus and Dionysus.
Regarding the celebrations Of a religious nature, the Greek theater has been part of them since Ancient Athens, which dates back to about five centuries before Christ. According to the information that scholars of this fascinating culture have gathered, one of the oldest and most popular festivals was the one held in honor of Dionysus, son of Zeus and Semele; it was carried out between the 11th and 13th of the month Anteterion (Greek term that can be translated as “month of flowers”, and which is close to the current February).
As an element of the architecture, the Greek theater used to stand on the side of a Mountain to take advantage of the elevation. Thanks to the semicircular design, good acoustics were ensured and thousands of spectators could observe the events.
The acoustics It is really one of the most remarkable points of these constructions, and this can be seen, for example, in the Theater of Epidaurus, located in Argolis (Peloponnese), which is considered by specialists to be the most successful in this regard. Its design is so suitable that a person sitting in one of the upper rows, approximately 70 meters away from the stage, you can easily hear the voices of the actors. As a matter of interest, in this same theater the proclamation of independence from Greece took place in 1822.
It is possible to distinguish three central elements in each Greek theater: the orchestra (where the choirs were located: those in charge of narrating or guiding the actions through song), the skené (a raised platform where the actors) and the koilon (the stands).
With respect to locker room Used in Greek theater, undoubtedly the use of masks by the actors to hide their faces stands out, something essential for the performance of the rite in the earliest performances. As time went by, when the staging left behind the religious character, the masks served to help characterize the interpreters.
It is considered that the main Greek theater was the Theater of Dionysus, located in the Acropolis of Athens. It was dedicated to God Dionysus and housed works in his honor. Historians believe that the Theater of Dionysus began to be built in the 6th century BC and came to have a capacity of about 16,000 viewers.