The Theatre and its Equipment
In the structure of its theatre, as in the structure of its plays, Greek drama remembered its origin. As the most important element was the chorus, so the most important part of the theatre, and its distinctive feature, was the place where the chorus sang and danced. Rain is rare in Greece, and the people did not need to bother with covered theatres; the dancing-place, or orchestra, was simply a large level space cleared at the foot of a rise from which the maximum number of spectators could have a good view. Its circular shape was dictated by the lie of the land, though in the tiny theatre of Thoricos near the coast of Attica to the south-east of Athens this was abandoned for an area roughly rectangular, following the line of the rock. Probably the circular form was ideal, but varied with local conditions and the time and money available for construction. In the centre of the orchestra stood the altar of Dionysus, round which the chorus danced.
KeywordsStone Building Covered Theatre Ancient Tradition Greek Drama Early Play
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