Theater in Ancient Greece
Theater of Ancient Greece or simply Greek Theater is a cultural movement that took place in the Ancient Greece between the years 700 BC and 220 BC. Athens, the most important city in Greece at the time was a rather influential city in terms of politics, culture, and even armed forces around this period. Greek Theater became an important part of the cultural identity of this city and, during a festival named Dionysia (in honor of the Greek God Dionysus, who, according to Greek Mythology, is the god of grape harvesting, wine, brewing, fertility, rapture and religious ecstasy as well as theater) theater was established by the governing authorities as a convention or norm.
Tragedy is estimated to have been conceived and established around the year 500 BC, while comedy is thought to have officially come into the picture a mere 10 years later. These 2 dramatic genres, together with the satyr play are all recorded to have been given birth in Athens. Athens tried to export the Dionysia festival to many other colonies with the objective of promoting a shared cultural identity and eventually succeeded in its efforts.
The Greek Theater’s original stage would normally take place in a circular, outdoor space (called the orchestra), in which dance and instrumental music were performed. The place itself was made of smooth and compact soil or clay and built in a particular, acoustically ideal fashion so that it would benefit the representation and successful execution of choral songs. One of the many famous varieties of choral songs was called dithyramb, which, according to tradition and historians who specialize in Ancient Greek history, later derived in Attic tragedy (a particular kind of poetry recited in Greece which contains many elements of heroism). All major theaters in Greece were built in open spaces.