October 16, 2004

Staging the Eumenides –3

3. In Theatron, explore the model of the Theatre of Dionysos, which represents the theatre as it may have been during the Lycurgan period (338 – 326 B.C.E.). Compare and contrast its stone skene with the wooden Phlyakes stage.

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

The possibilities of the Dionysos theatre are seemingly endless, there are plenty of interesting aspects of the structure that could be used in performance or left redundant in order to concentrate the action. Also it conveys a far more grand and royal impression compared to the ramshackle Phylaxes, something which the producers may have considered important considering that all greek tragedy focuses on their aristocracy, a trend that continued all the way to 19th century. (ooh cross-pollonation of modules)

The limitations of the Theatre of Dionysos are directly related to the sheer scale of it. There is little room for intimacy when the actor has to shout loud enough for the crowd in the nose-bleed section. Fortunately The Orestia doesn't really ever call for any acting on an intimate level. But that doesn't mean that you couldn't take it in that direction, as a modern director probably would want to. The Phylaxes small scale means that there was far more scope for a more intense play, in my opinion.

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

The Delphic Temple of Apollo (outside and within), Temple of Pallas (Athena, ie. The Acropolis)


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