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LIS120 - The Birth of Western Theatre

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FC: The Dawn of Western Theatre | Matthew "Sparky" Sparkman LIS-120-01 Final Project

1: here's where it all began....

2: Theatre began during the Golden Age of Greece, around 550 B.C.E. (Before the Common Era). The Greeks were a polytheistic society, meaning they worshiped many gods. One of those gods was Dionysus, the god of Celebration, Wine, and Theatre. You might say he was the "rock star" of all the gods on Mt. Olympus...

5: Every year, the Greeks would come together in one of their largest cities, Athens, for a massive festival honoring Dionysus. Even their gargantuan amphitheatre was named after the god - it was called "City Dionysia."

6: At first it was very different from theatre as we know today...some might say it was rather boring. Plays consisted of "choral readings," incantations that were used to invoke the gods' blessings.

7: It wasn't until a man named Thespis stepped down out of the "chorus line" to speak to the audience by himself that true acting was born. This is why sometimes actors today are called "Thespians!"

9: Thespis: the coolest guy ever.

10: The Festival of Dionysus at the City Dionysia was a major event - every major playwright and their plays were featured there. Unfortunately, most of those original scripts have been lost. Only the plays of 4 major playwrights (who spanned nearly 3 generations) have survived the test of time and lasted until today...

11: Aeschylus | Sophocles | Euripides | Aristophanes | The | Big | Four

12: Aeshylus was the first major tragedian, writing classics like The Orestia, and Agamemnon. He added the second actor, after Thespis.

13: Sophocles "invented" the second actor, and also created the stalwart Oedipus trilogy (Antigone, Oedipus Rex, and Oedipus at Colonus).

14: Euripides continued the work of his two predecessors, making his characters more "human." His famous texts include Medea and Trojan Women.

15: Aristophanes is the only one of the four who thrived on writing comedy. His loony, yet realistic sense of humor can be found in plays such as The Frogs or Lysistrata.

16: Thanks to records on recovered ancient Greek pottery and stone murals, we know that these four playwrights have in no doubt defined countless generations of theatre, and certainly laid the groundwork all of it's western incarnations...

17: THE END | ...whether it be tragedy or comedy!

18: Works Cited: http://z.about.com/d/gohawaii/1/0/a/I/4/haleakala_sunrise_009.jpg http://images.apple.com/ca/games/articles/2003/09/ageofmythology/images/dionysus.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/Ancient_Greek_theatre_in_Dodona_5.jpg http://www.academicapparel.com/choir/images/greekchoir.jpg http://media.photobucket.com/image/greek%20chorus/soundandfuryandpeace/GreekChorus.jpg

19: http://phoenixandturtle.net/excerptmill/eximgs/sophokles.jpg http://notesofanidealist.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/aeschylus.jpg http://westernparadigm.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/aristotle.jpg http://home.scarlet.be/yuc-eduard .cabuy/rt/auteurs/fotoalbum/euripides.jpg http://www.loft-theatre.co.uk/archive/other/aristophanes.jpg

20: http://www.musowls.org/library/images/oresteia_000.jpg http://www.harpers.org/media/image/blogs/misc/oedipus-the-king.jpg http://www.albany.edu/theatre/photos/seasons%201990%27s/Oedipus%20Rex%20%2790-84%20a%20Modified.jpg http://www.brooklynpaper.com/assets/photos/31/13/31_13_lysistrata_z.jpg http://traumwerk.stanford.edu/philolog/dionysus%20r-f%20leopard.jpg

21: http://www.vroma.org/images/mcmanus_images/clytemnestra1.jpg http://costumes.lovetoknow.com/images/Costumes/thumb/e/e5/Dmask.jpg/300px-Dmask.jpg http://fc.sad57.k12.me.us/~Abigail_Asciola/00598B79-00870BAD.0/bloodyeyes.jpg http://classicgreektheatre.tripod.com/medea/CGTO_MEDEA_10.jpg

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