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October 15, 2004

Staging Eumenides or How to Utterly Brutalise Classic Theatre

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?

It wouldn't quite encapsulate the epic feel of the play, and wouldn't give the actors much space to move around, ie. the furies chasing Orestes might have been a problem. That said Greek acting was very much about the voice and the storytelling, not the action so any place with a stage could be adequate, though a grander theatre would be more appropriate.

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

Not quite sure what these questions are looking for, but I'd have had the first scene performed with Klytemnestra and Apollo at the front of the stage, then have Orestes enter from behind the audience, through the aisle, as if pursued by the furies.

iii. Where could the chorus have performed?

Perhaps run in after Orestes, then perform on the ground in front of the stage, only going up to the stage when needed as part of the trial.

Why paint on a vase? Isn't it better to paint a rainbow across the sky?


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?

To me it seemed on a very pedantic level that the vase paintings depicted the myth as in the play it was stated the furies didn't have wings and on the vase they did.

On a more general level it's hard to tell, I suppose it would make more sense for them to depict the myths as it's a more grandiose depiction, a painting of a myth would seem to be of more impact than a painting of actors pretending to be in a myth.

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

I think that these vase paintings could be very significant as evidence to ancient theatre practice as one of the main ways for Greek people to be told myths would have been theatre, and many ancient Greek plays depicted myths, so theatre would have provided the most complete recounting of a myth, as such Theatre may well have been the basis of the visualisations of the myths, and so could be very significant.

Good evaluations anyone?

I thought the best evaluatios were those that didn't just state what was in a sight, how comprehensive it was etc. but that actually said how helpful the site was to them, and also how much they enjoyed reading the site, as it's always helpful to know places that aren't just a good source of information, but that you enjoy reading so you're more likely to take in the information.

October 08, 2004

Worst. Start. Ever.

I'm gonna start my first entry on my Society, Stage and Text blog with a lot of bitching. Guess that shows what kind of person I am (ie. social misfit). Got up hungover. Got to this lecture at 9am (what my timetable said) came back at 9:30 (what the course outline said) then came back at 10 (when Kate the wonder-secretary got into her office). At 10 past 10 I went to the Ramphal building, looking for room R034, as was specified in an e-mail that Kate got. There is no R034 in the Ramphal building. 10:30 I get back to Kate's office and have to wait so she can get through to the library on the phone and find out which room is booked. Amused myself by reading the Prayer for the Stressed she had on her wall, naturally I found it very helpful.

Finally I managed to get here at 10:40, forty minutes late, have to log into a computer and can't remember my username.

I think I'm getting a cold/cough as well and I'm going to a Hamlet audition later on.

Hugh the lecturer guy is apparently groovy. Or at least he thinks he is. I wish I were groovy. Maybe if I had a rainbow hat I would be.

James "Webbey" Webster

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