October 20, 2004

5

. Where are the best and worst seats in the 4th century theatron? Why?

In the 4th century Theatron there were 13 wedges called Kerkides. We think that it is logical that the wedges that were more central and towards the front would be considered the best seats. Therefore we think the worst would be towards the back and sides as the view of the stage would be more restricted as well more difficulty hearing the dialogue.

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?*

The spectators in an Athenian audience we seated in very close proximity on either side and back to front in the respect that you rested your back on the knees of the specator behind you. It has been commented that due to the close proximity, emotions were heightened. For example a shudder or a sob could be felt as you are seated so close to one another.

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

It is difficult to experience the same sort of emotions in contemporary theatre due to the lessened importance of theatre in our society and the conditions, however through the natualistic movement an audience is able to experience similar emotions to that of a Greek audience. Plays are still performed in a similar style to that of Greek theatre, in the actual Amphitheatres which suggests that the actual experience can be recreated to a certain extent.

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?

The style of Grrek theatre may have evolved into a more melodramatic spectical as the enorminty of the audience grew. Therefore gestures and dialogue would become more leaborate to enable those on the sidelines and at the back to hear and see so that they can follow the plot. On one hand the emotional relationship between audience and actor would be lessened in terms of todays inimate theatres, because of the obvious difference in distance. However as the audience number increase the space decreases and so people are more inimately seated with each other, so emotions would be heightened and passed through the crowd.

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?

The choral performance would perhaps have more energy as working withn a group creates an atmosphere. Also the chorus has a responsibility to help with the audiences understanding of the plot and so may perhaps be more melodramatic with their movements and gestures.


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