The Audience and Ancient Greek Theater Analytical Essay

The Audience and Ancient Greek Theater
Looks at the typical structure of theater productions and theater design of ancient Greek theater and the role that the audience had in these performances.
# 151529 | 1,460 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

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This paper explains that the audience attended ancient Greek theater for reasons that were much more complicated than the audience of theater today, who usually go merely for entertainment purposes. Next, the author explains that the layout and design of the ancient Greek theaters indicate that this form of communication was very important to this early civilization; however, because the texts of the plays were not written down in book form, it is difficult to analyze this theater from a modern day perspective. Nonetheless, the paper concludes that ancient Greek theater and the impact of its audience have played a large role in shaping modern theater and terminology.

From the Paper:

"Ancient Greek theaters also had an orchestra, where people would stand or sit and interact with the actors during the chorus. This area was often paved with marble, and was an integral part of the theater experience. The chorus acted not only as a supplement to the actors but also sometimes even acted as a narrative of the actor's thoughts and feelings. Author Arnott (24) points out that the chorus was a direct extension of the audience, and that these two groups experienced the plays together, from a shared moral and cultural viewpoint. This is interesting as well because over the course of the plays and festivals, the audience members would have, at one time or another, been part of the chorus in the plays, and vice verse. This adds another entirely unique element of participation to ancient Greek theater.
"Immediately behind the stage there was a tent, called the skene. This structure often housed the actors and their costumes and was used as part of the play. Often, the tent was painted as a backdrop, and the English word "scene" comes from this Greek word referring to the backdrop of the theater. This tent was also the place where the actors entered and exited the stage."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Arnott, Peter D. Public and Performance in the Greek Theatre. London: Routledge, 1991. Print.
  • Bassi, Karen. Acting Like Men: Gender, Drama, and Nostalgia in Ancient Greece. Detroit: University of Michigan Press, 2001. Print.
  • Bennett, Susan. Theatre Audiences: A Theory of Production and Reception. London: Routledge, 2005. Print.
  • Brockett, Oscar and Franklin Hildy. History of the Theater. Paris: Routledge, 1999. Print.
  • Green, John Richard. Theater in Ancient Greek Society. London: Routledge, 1996. Print.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Audience and Ancient Greek Theater (2012, June 24) Retrieved September 22, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Audience and Ancient Greek Theater" 24 June 2012. Web. 22 September. 2023. <>