All entries for Friday 15 October 2004

October 15, 2004

Visual Resources – Staging the Eumenides

*Visual Resources – Staging the Eumenides *

i. Is it possible to determine whether the ancient vase paintings are depictions of theatrical performances, or of the myths upon which the plays are also based?

Short of some ouji board or necro fun (no no necrophillia) i guess we cant really know. But anyway i reckon its based more on the myths themselves than a singular or general performance. For a start there are no masks on the character – masks were used to show an emotion to the audience and the lack of them in the paintings suggests a painting of the myth. Afterall the myth itself was very important to the greeks as there were many variyn theatrical versions of a story. And anyway i doubt Aeschylus (524–456 BC) could have written his version of the Orestia when he was 10 so that the vase could have been painted :P

ii. In the light of your response to i. above, how significant may ancient vase paintings be as evidence for ancient theatre practice?

I spoze that some vases could be very significant but id say in general the vases depict the myths rather than an aspect of theatre practice. Maybe from an asthetic pov its maybe quite useful for looking at the kind of dress/costume tha should have been worn and exactly what half these weird creatures looked like.

.The 4th century B.C.E. Phlyakes vases from the south of Italy show temporary wooden stages which we believe are similar or identical to those that would have been used for comic performance in the 5th century B.C.E. How adequate or appropriate would such a stage have been for the performance of tragedy in the 5th century B.C.E., in particular the Eumenides?

i.The 4th century B.C.E. Phlyakes vases from the south of Italy show temporary wooden stages which we believe are similar or identical to those that would have been used for comic performance in the 5th century B.C.E. How adequate or appropriate would such a stage have been for the performance of tragedy in the 5th century B.C.E., in particular the Eumenides?

These stages wouldnt have been appropriate for a tragedy at all. The large choruswouldnt have even fited on the stage!! At certain points in the Euminde there are many characters on stage – only a large stage would have have been able to faciliitate these large numbers effectivley. Also there is a lot of physical action (i.e grim and necro killings) which no bugger would

have been able to see on a stage that is akin to some stacked matches.

ii. Where could Klytemnestra, Apollo and Orestes have performed in the opening scene of the play?

They all enter from the inner shrine and so should be sepeate from the audience. The small stage would have been adequate to act as this shrine but thehuge chorus may have been a bit stuck foir somewhere to be.

iii. Where could the chorus have performed?

On this kind of stage

i.What possibilities and limitations for performance does each type of scene building allow or impose?

Phlyakes stages
The actors and chorus are limited to performing on the stage and in the orchestra. The stages itself is asmall space and so wouldn't be able to hold many actors but sayin that only three could talk at once so i guess it didnt matter. The stairs at the front of the stage were probanly used by the actors to enter onto the stage.
The audience capacity was relatively small in comparisson to :

Theatre of Dionysus

The stone skene givesmore places to perform: infront of it ,in the orchestra or on the roof .
The three doors allowed entrances and exits, but only for the actors, not the chrous. The paraskenion on either side of the orchestra allowed actors and members of the chorus to enter from both sides, after having gathered in the Odeon of Pericles. The Odeon also served as, according to Vitruvius, a refuge from the rain and a place to store armour of dead soldiers that was presented to the theatre. The auditorium was able to hold thousands of audience members, giving the chorus an important role in entertaining with their song and dance.

ii.The action of the Eumenides is set in three locations. What are they?

Outside the temple of Apollo at Delphi
Inside the inner shrine of the temple of Apollo
The temple of Athene in Athens

iii.How might these scene changes have been staged?

i. What kinds of spatial and choreographic relationships between theatre, spectators, actors and chorus, could have been established in each case?

ii.How might different spatial relationships have affected the meaning of the scene, or the characterisation and status of the characters and chorus?

i. How did the physical conditions of spectatorship for ancient Athenian audiences differ from the usual conditions of spectatorship in a conventional theatre building today?

ii. Do these differences suggest a fundamentally, or merely superficially different theatrical experience?

iii. Read the short note on Greek Audiences, and the longer text by Csapo and Slater. How might a style, or styles, of performance have evolved in response to the scale and sight-lines of the theatre, and the nature of the spatial and emotional relationship between Athenian spectators and performers?

iv. Might different parts of the theatre have demanded different styles of performance?

v. How might the style of choral performance have differed from that of the character actors?
More generalised acting, lesser costume, not neccesarily pro actors


Class lookalikes

Anyone else notice a certain resemblance of the Hecuba doll to someone in our class???

Anyway, any1 noticed any other (the harsher the better) lookalikes (apart from Graham and King of the Hill Dude and Hugh n Sam Weis)

And before you get there…..I DONT LOOK LIKE ABRAHAM LINCOLN


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