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Roman and Medieval Theatre

by: Julia Caine

Roman and Medieval Theatre THEA-UT 510

Marketplace > New York University > Theatre > THEA-UT 510 > Roman and Medieval Theatre
Julia Caine
GPA 3.5

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About this Document

This was the material covered in week 2 of the lecture, talking about theatre in the Roman empire and in Medieval Europe, with a short section on Arabic devotional drama
Introduction to Theatre Production
Edward Ziter
Class Notes
theatre, Rome, medieval
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Julia Caine on Monday April 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA-UT 510 at New York University taught by Edward Ziter in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Theatre Production in Theatre at New York University.


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Date Created: 04/18/16
Roman and Medieval Theatre Key Terms Theatre of Pompey- Roman theatre completed in 55 B.C. Theatre of Marcellus- Roman theatre completed in 11 B.C. in Rome Circus Maximus- Ancient Roman chariot racing stadium Velarium- Curtain to cover theatre on hot days Vomitoria- Places for actors to enter/exit Scaenea Frons- Permanent backdrop Quem Queritis trope- Most famous trope from medieval theatre Mansions- Many different set structures on one big stage Platea- Space in front of mansions Cycles (mysteries)- Plays evolved from liturgical drama Pageant Wagon- Movable stage used for cycle plays Morality plays- Allegorical tales from medieval theatre Miracle plays- Plays depicting the lives of saints Hell Mouth- Prop representing the entrance to Hell Class Notes  Roman Theatre o 270 B.C. to 240 B.C.  Expansion into Greece  Exposure to Greek theatre o Republic lasts 50 B.C. to 27 B.C.  Empire is first three centuries A.D. o Ludi  Religious festivals  Games and theatres  Amount grew greatly under empire  100 days devoted to theatre o Religion eventually becomes formality o Performances accrued in permanent spaces o Early tragedies have not survived  Comedies usually adaptations of Greek stories  Comic actors  Masks headdresses  Thick-soled shoes  Only tragedies from empire  Most by Seneca o Meant to be read, not performed o Mime  Could be women  Short body-comic scenes o Actors were all slaves  Became well respected o Theatre structure  Theatre of Pompey was first permanent one in 55 B.C.  Come after original plays  Before that was temporary theatre near temple  So gods could watch  17,500 seats in theatre of Pompey  300 foot stage  Theatre of Bulbus  39 B.C.  Theatre of Marcellus  11 B.C.  Separate from city  People enter from Vomitoria  Walk ways  Velarium  Curtain to cover theatre on hot days o Attached to poles called aulaeum o Circuses with chariot track  For animal  Circus Maximus  Also amphitheaters  Colosseum o 60 A.D.  Added on later o Animal fights chariot races o Sea fights  Medieval Theatre o Fall of Rome  Little consistency  Split into Rome and Constantinople o Difference of religion  Lots of small tribes fighting  Feudalism develops o Creates rituals in Catholicism through Pagan practices  Feast days for clergy o Liturgical drama  Add trope to regular church services  Quem Queritis Trope (925 A.D.)  Priests began to act out ancient scenes o Became more complex o Choir could be Heaven, crypt could be Hell o Valenciennes Passion (1547 A.D.)  May have evolved from liturgical drama  Mysteries (also called cycle plays) o Religious cycles o May have been performed by guilds, or mysteries o Dramatize stories from Old and New Testament  Many episodes o Done to thank God  Every individual experiences divine o Included at least one passion play  Showed crucifixion of Christ o Can have extended comic scenes  Morality plays  Allegorical tales  Miracle plays  Depict the lives of saints o Theatre structure  Could have had permanent stages  Mansions o Tiny structures on one big stage o Platea was space in front  Pageant wagons o May have been parade style o Might have been a big circle  Ta’ziyeh o Passion of the death of Hussain o First performed in 18 century th  Hussain killed on 10 day of Muharrra  Known as Ashura o Takiyeh Dawlet (1868-1947)  State theatre o Tatbir  Amal organized procession  Bloodletting  Cut heads to shed blood as sign of mourning


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