According to the historians Oscar Brockett and Franklin Hildy, rituals typically include elements that entertain or give pleasure, such as costumes and masks as well as skilled performers. As societies grew more complex, these spectacular elements began to be acted out under non-ritualistic conditions. As this occurred, the first steps towards theatre as an autonomous activity were being taken.
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History of theatre
The best-preserved example of a classical Greek theatre, the Theatre of Epidaurus, has a circular orchêstra and probably gives the best idea of the original shape of the Athenian theatre, though it dates from the 4th century BCE.
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Classical Athenian drama
Main articles: Theatre of Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek comedy, and Satyr play
Greek theatre, most developed in Athens, is the root of the Western tradition; theatre is in origin a Greek word. It was part of a broader culture of theatricality and performance in classical Greece that included festivals, religious rituals, politics, law, athletics and gymnastics, music, poetry, weddings, funerals, and symposia. Participation in the city-state's many festivals—and attendance at the City Dionysia as an audience member (or even as a participant in the theatrical productions) in particular—was an important part of