Theatre

Topics: Drama, 1st millennium / Pages: 33 (8165 words) / Published: Dec 17th, 2012
Theatre probably arose as a performance of ritual activities that did not require initiation on the part of the spectator. This similarity of early theatre to ritual is negatively attested by Aristotle, who in his Poetics defined theatre in contrast to the performances of sacred mysteries: theatre did not require the spectator to fast, drink the kykeon, or march in a procession; however theatre did resemble the sacred mysteries in the sense that it brought purification and healing to the spectator by means of a vision, the theama. The physical location of such performances was accordingly named theatron.[2]
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.[3]
[edit]Western tradition

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History of theatre
[edit]Greek 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.[4]
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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.[5] 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

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