Royal Shakespeare Company
The Royal Shakespeare Company is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. The companys home is in Stratford-upon-Avon, where it has recently redeveloped its Royal Shakespeare, the theatres re-opened in November 2010, having closed in 2007. The new buildings attracted 18,000 visitors within the first week, performances in Stratford-upon-Avon continued throughout the Transformation project at the temporary Courtyard Theatre. The 2011-season began with performances of Macbeth and a re-imagined lost play The History of Cardenio, the fiftieth birthday season featured The Merchant of Venice with Sir Patrick Stewart and revivals of some of the RSCs greatest plays, including a new staging of Marat/Sade. For the London 2012 Festival as part of the Cultural Olympiad, in 2013 the company began live screenings of its Shakespeare productions – called Live from Stratford-upon-Avon – which are screened around the world. In 2016, the company collaborated with Intel and The Imaginarium Studios to stage The Tempest, John Wards Birmingham-based company, the Warwickshire Company of Comedians, agreed to perform it.
A surviving copy of the records that the company performed Othello. The first building erected to commemorate Shakespeare was David Garricks Jubilee Pavilion in 1769, the first permanent commemorative building to Shakespeares works in the town was a theatre built in 1827, in the gardens of New Place, but has long since been demolished. The RSCs history began with the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, which was the brainchild of a local brewer and he donated a two-acre site by the River Avon and in 1875 launched an international campaign to build a theatre in the town of Shakespeares birth. The theatre, a Victorian-Gothic building seating just over 700 people, opened on 23 April 1879, with a performance of Much Ado About Nothing, a title which gave ammunition to several critics. From 1919, under the direction of William Bridges-Adams and after a slow start, the theatre received a Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1925, which gave it status. On the afternoon of 6 March 1926, when a new season was about to commence rehearsals, fire broke out, and the mass of half-timbering chosen to ornament the interior provided dry tinder.
By the following morning the theatre was a blackened shell, the company transferred its Shakespeare festivals to a converted local cinema. Fund-raising began for the rebuilding of the theatre, with generous donations arriving from philanthropists in America, george Bernard Shaw commented that her design was the only one that showed any theatre sense. Her modernist plans for an art deco structure came under fire from many directions, it came under the direction of Sir Barry Jackson in 1945, Anthony Quayle from 1948 to 1956 and Glen Byam Shaw 1957–1959, with an impressive roll-call of actors. Scotts building, with minor adjustments to the stage, remained in constant use until 2007 when it was closed for a major refit of the interior. Timeline,1932 – new Shakespeare Memorial Theatre opens, abutting the remains of the old,1961 – chartered name of the corporation and the Stratford theatre becomes ‘Royal Shakespeare. ’1974 – The Other Place opened, created from a prefabricated former store/rehearsal room in Stratford.
1986 – the Swan Theatre opened, created from the shell of the 1879 Memorial Theatre,1991 – Purpose-built new Other Place, designed by Michael Reardon, opens
Samuel Alexander Sam Mendes, CBE is an English stage and film director. He is known for dark re-inventions of the stage musicals Cabaret and he directed an original West End stage musical for the first time with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In 2005, he received an achievement award from the Directors Guild of Great Britain. In 2008 The Daily Telegraph ranked him number 15 in their list of the 100 most powerful people in British culture, Mendes was born in Reading, the only child of Valerie Helene, an author of childrens books, and Jameson Peter Mendes, a university professor. His father, who is from Trinidad, is of Portuguese and Italian descent and his grandfather was the Trinidadian writer Alfred Hubert Mendes. Mendes parents divorced when he was a child and he grew up in Oxfordshire and attended Magdalen College School and Peterhouse, where he graduated with a first in English. While at Cambridge, he was a member of the Marlowe Society and directed several plays and he was a brilliant schoolboy cricketer, according to Wisden and played for Magdalen College School in 1983 and 1984.
He played cricket for Cambridge University, aged 24 Mendes directed a production of Chekhovs The Cherry Orchard in the West End that starred Judi Dench. Soon he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where his productions, many of them featuring Simon Russell Beale, included Troilus and Cressida, Richard III and The Tempest. He worked at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 1988 as assistant director on a number of productions, including Major Barbara, and directing in The Tent, the second venue. In 1990 Mendes was appointed director of the Donmar Warehouse. He spent his first two years overseeing the redesign of the theatre, and his production was Stephen Sondheims Assassins in 1992. The production was approached with a concept, differing greatly from both the original 1966 production directed by Harold Prince and the famed film version, directed by Bob Fosse. The Broadway cast included Cumming once again as Emcee, with Natasha Richardson as Sally, Mary Louise Wilson as Frau Schneider and Richardson won Tony Awards for their performances.
1994 saw Mendes stage a new production of Lionel Barts Oliver, bart added new musical material and Mendes updated the book slightly, while the orchestrations were radically rewritten to suit the shows cinematic feel. The cast included Jonathan Pryce as Fagin, Sally Dexter as Nancy, Mendes and Dexter received Olivier Award nominations for their work on Oliver. In 2003 Mendes directed a revival of the musical Gypsy, originally, he planned to stage this production in Londons West End with an eventual Broadway transfer, but when negotiations fell through, he brought it to New York. The cast included Bernadette Peters as Rose, Tammy Blanchard as Louise, Mendes directed the 2014 Olivier Award-nominated stage adaptation of Roald Dahls Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The Other Place (theatre)
The Other Place is a black box theatre on Southern Lane, near to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. It is owned and operated by the Royal Shakespeare Company, in 2006, an earlier version of the theatre closed and reopened as the temporary and larger Courtyard Theatre while the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres were redeveloped. In March 2016, The Other Place was reinstated as a 200-seat studio theatre, in 1974 the RSC acquired its first studio theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, The Other Place. The Other Places fifteen-year history represented a brief, shining moment in the history of the Royal Shakespeare Company. The RSC had anticipated the extension for the Courtyard Theatre would be a temporary building, plans were made to bring back The Other Place, keeping the existing structure of the current Courtyard Theatre. In 2012, planning permission was granted by Stratford District Council to reinstate The Other Place within the extended building. The Other Place is a 200-seat studio theatre with an internal space to create a new-style, mixed use TOP which will provide opportunities for community, amateur.
Over 30,000 costumes are available to the public for the first time through theatre tours, there is space for small conferences and meetings and occasional commercial hire. The redevelopment of the new TOP began in February 2015 and the theatre opened on 21 March 2016, funding for the new theatre came from a £3 million grant from the Arts Council England raised through the National Lottery. Funding was received from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, The Backstage Trust and this is the final phase of the Transformation project, to redevelop the entire theatre complex in Stratford-upon-Avon. The Company, A Biographical Dictionary of the Royal Shakespeare Company, England, Editions Albert Creed,2010
Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were than those of Aeschylus. He competed in 30 competitions, won 18, and was never judged lower than second place, Aeschylus won 14 competitions, and was sometimes defeated by Sophocles, while Euripides won 5 competitions. Sophocles influenced the development of drama, most importantly by adding a third actor and he developed his characters to a greater extent than earlier playwrights such as Aeschylus. Sophocles, the son of Sophilus, was a member of the rural deme of Hippeios Colonus in Attica, which was to become a setting for one of his plays. Sophocles was born a few years before the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, Sophocles was born into a wealthy family and was highly educated. Sophocles first artistic triumph was in 468 BC, when he took first prize in the Dionysia theatre competition over the master of Athenian drama. According to Plutarch, the victory came under unusual circumstances, instead of following the usual custom of choosing judges by lot, the archon asked Cimon and the other strategoi present to decide the victor of the contest.
Plutarch further contends that following this loss Aeschylus soon left for Sicily, although Plutarch says that this was Sophocles first production, it is now thought that his first production was probably in 470 BC. Triptolemus was probably one of the plays that Sophocles presented at this festival, in 480 BC Sophocles was chosen to lead the paean, celebrating the Greek victory over the Persians at the Battle of Salamis. Early in his career, the politician Cimon might have one of his patrons, although if he was, there was no ill will borne by Pericles, Cimons rival. In 443/2 he served as one of the Hellenotamiai, or treasurers of Athena, in 420 BC, he welcomed and set up an altar for the image of Asclepius at his house, when the deity was introduced to Athens. For this, he was given the posthumous epithet Dexion by the Athenians and he was elected, in 413 BC, one of the commissioners who responded to the catastrophic destruction of the Athenian expeditionary force in Sicily during the Peloponnesian War.
Sophocles died at the age of ninety or ninety-one in the winter of 406/5 BC, as with many famous men in classical antiquity, his death inspired a number of apocryphal stories. The most famous is the suggestion that he died from the strain of trying to recite a long sentence from his Antigone without pausing to take a breath, another account suggests he choked while eating grapes at the Anthesteria festival in Athens. A third holds that he died of happiness after winning his final victory at the City Dionysia, one of his sons, and a grandson, called Sophocles, became playwrights. Several ancient sources mention Sophocles homosexuality or bisexuality, Athenaios reported that Sophocles loved boys like Euripides loved women. The poet Ion of Chios relates an anecdote involving Sophocles seducing a serving boy at a symposium, who dominated Athenian playwriting during Sophocles early career, followed suit and adopted the third character into his own work towards the end of his life
Educating Rita is a stage comedy by British playwright Willy Russell. It is a play for two actors set entirely in the office of an Open University lecturer, commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Educating Rita premièred at The Warehouse, London, in June 1980 starring Julie Walters and Mark Kingston. The play was directed by Mike Ockrent, the plays follows the relationship between a 26-year-old Liverpudlian working class hairdresser and Frank, a middle-aged university lecturer, during the course of a year. In the play Frank has no surname, but when the film was made he became Dr. Frank Bryant, dissatisfied with the routine of her work and social life, seeks inner growth by signing up for and attending an Open University course in English Literature. The play opens as Rita meets her tutor, for the first time, Frank is a middle-aged, alcoholic career academic who has taken on the tutorship to pay for his drink. However, Franks bitterness and cynicism return as he notices Susan beginning to adopt the pretensions of the university culture he despises.
Susan becomes disillusioned by an attempted suicide and realises that her new social niche is rife with the same dishonesty and superficiality she had previously sought to escape. The play ends as Frank, sent to Australia on a sabbatical, the play deals with the concept of freedom, Englands class system, the shortcomings of institutional education, and the nature of self-development and of personal relationships. The play borrows from the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, itself based upon archetypes from Greek myth, the play was adapted by Russell for a 1983 film with Michael Caine and Julie Walters, directed by Lewis Gilbert. The play was adapted by Russell for radio in 2009 – see Educating Rita and it starred Bill Nighy and Laura Dos Santos directed by Kirsty Williams, and was a 90-minute play broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Boxing Day 2009. From 26 March-8 May 2010, as part of the Willy Russell season at the Menier Chocolate Factory and this was the productions first London West End revival.
This production transferred to the Trafalgar Studios in Londons West End from 8 July-30 October 2010, Laura Dos Santos reprised her radio and Menier Chocolate Factory performance as Rita, and Frank was played by renowned actor Tim Pigott-Smith. Like the Willy Russell season at the Menier Chocolate Factory, the production ran in repertory alongside Shirley Valentine starring Meera Syal, a UK tour played in 2012, starring Claire Sweeney and Matthew Kelly as Rita and Frank respectively. A 35th anniversary production was staged at Liverpool Playhouse from 6 February to 7 March 2015, starring Leanne Best as Rita and Con ONeill as Frank, directed by Gemma Bodinetz. Geoffrey Sampson explains the title of his 1997 book, Educating Eve, The Language Instinct Debate, galatea of Greek mythology My Fair Lady Pretty Woman Russell, Willy. Educating Rita at the Internet off-Broadway Database Educating Rita at the Internet Movie Database Film Review, Educating Rita
Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. He is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century, Becketts work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human existence, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour, and became increasingly minimalist in his career. He is considered one of the last modernist writers, and one of the key figures in what Martin Esslin called the Theatre of the Absurd. Beckett was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature for his writing, which—in new forms for the novel and he was elected Saoi of Aosdána in 1984. The Becketts were members of the Anglican Church of Ireland, the family home, Cooldrinagh in the Dublin suburb of Foxrock, was a large house and garden complete with tennis court built in 1903 by Samuels father, William. Samuel Beckett was born on Good Friday,13 April 1906, to William Frank Beckett, a quantity surveyor and descendant of the Huguenots, and Maria Jones Roe, a nurse, Beckett had one older brother, Frank Edward Beckett.
At the age of five, Beckett attended a local playschool, where he started to learn music, in 1919, Beckett went to Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. A natural athlete, Beckett excelled at cricket as a left-handed batsman, later, he was to play for Dublin University and played two first-class games against Northamptonshire. As a result, he became the only Nobel literature laureate to have played first class cricket, Beckett studied French and English at Trinity College, Dublin from 1923 to 1927. He was elected a Scholar in Modern Languages in 1926, Beckett graduated with a BA and, after teaching briefly at Campbell College in Belfast, took up the post of lecteur danglais at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris from November 1928 to 1930. While there, he was introduced to renowned Irish author James Joyce by Thomas MacGreevy and this meeting had a profound effect on the young man. Beckett assisted Joyce in various ways, one of which was research towards the book that became Finnegans Wake, in 1929, Beckett published his first work, a critical essay entitled Dante.
Becketts close relationship with Joyce and his family cooled, Becketts first short story, was published in Jolass periodical transition. In 1930, Beckett returned to Trinity College as a lecturer, in November 1930, he presented a paper in French to the Modern Languages Society of Trinity on the Toulouse poet Jean du Chas, founder of a movement called le Concentrisme. It was a parody, for Beckett had in fact invented the poet and his movement that claimed to be at odds with all that is clear. Beckett insisted that he had not intended to fool his audience, when Beckett resigned from Trinity at the end of 1931, his brief academic career was at an end. He spent some time in London, where in 1931 he published Proust, two years later, following his fathers death, he began two years treatment with Tavistock Clinic psychoanalyst Dr. Wilfred Bion. Aspects of it became evident in Becketts works, such as Watt, in 1932, he wrote his first novel, Dream of Fair to Middling Women, but after many rejections from publishers decided to abandon it
Brooklyn Academy of Music
The Brooklyn Academy of Music is a performing arts venue in Brooklyn, New York City, known as a center for progressive and avant garde performance. It presented its first performance in 1861 and began operations in its present location in 1908, today, BAM has a reputation as a leader in presenting cutting edge performance and has grown into an urban arts center which focuses on both international arts presentation and local community needs. Its purpose is to provide an environment in which its audiences – annually, more than 775,000 people – can experience a broad array of aesthetic and cultural programs. From 1999 to 2014, BAM was headed by Karen Brooks Hopkins, katy Clark is now president, succeeding Hopkins who retired in spring 2015. Founded in 1861, the first BAM facility at 176–194 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights was conceived as the home of the Philharmonic Society of Brooklyn. The building, designed by architect Leopold Eidlitz, housed a theater seating 2,200, a smaller concert hall and chorus rooms.
BAM presented amateur and professional music and theater productions, including such as Ellen Terry, Edwin Booth, Tomas Salvini. After the building burned to the ground on November 30,1903, the Met would continue to present seasons in Brooklyn, featuring star singers such as Caruso, right through until 1921. The new building is adjacent to downtown Brooklyn, near the Atlantic Terminal of the Long Island Rail Road, in 1967 Harvey Lichtenstein was appointed executive director and during the 32 years that Lichtenstein was BAMs leader, BAM experienced a renaissance. BAM is now recognized internationally as a cultural center well known for The Next Wave Festival. Lichtenstein gave a home to the Chelsea Theater Center, in residence from 1967–1977, BAMs Peter Jay Sharp Building houses the Howard Gilman Opera House and the BAM Rose Cinemas. It was designed by the firm Herts & Tallant in 1908 and it is a U shaped building with an open court in the center of the lot between two theater wings above the first story.
It measures 190 feet along Lafayette Avenue,200 feet deep, the building has a high base of gray granite with cream colored brick trimmed in terra cotta with some marble detail above. It is located within the Fort Greene Historic District, BAMs facilities include, In the Peter Jay Sharp Building, at 30 Lafayette Avenue, Howard Gilman Opera House, with 2,109 seats. Rose Cinemas opened in 1997, allowing Brooklynites the chance to see more art films without having to go to Manhattan, lepercq Space, originally BAMs ballroom, now a flexible event space and home to receptions, and BAMcafé. BAMcafé is open for dinner on nights there is a performance in the Opera House. BAMcafé Live is a series of live music performances on select Friday and Saturday nights. A renovation by architect Hugh Hardy left the interior unpainted and with often exposed stonework, in April 2014, CNN named the BAM Harvey as one of the 15 of the Worlds Most Spectacular Theaters
Dame Judith Olivia Dench CH DBE FRSA, known as Judi Dench, is an English actress and author. Dench made her debut in 1957 with the Old Vic Company. Over the following few years she performed in several of Shakespeares plays in such roles as Ophelia in Hamlet, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. Although most of her work during this period was in theatre, she branched into film work. She drew strong reviews for her role in the musical Cabaret in 1968. Over the next two decades, Dench established herself as one of the most significant British theatre performers, working for the National Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She achieved success in television during this period, in the series A Fine Romance from 1981 until 1984 and she has received the BAFTA Fellowship and the Special Olivier Award. In June 2011, she received a fellowship from the British Film Institute, Dench is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Dench was born in Heworth, North Riding of Yorkshire and her mother, Eleanora Olive, was born in Dublin, Ireland.
Her father, Reginald Arthur Dench, a doctor, was born in Dorset and moved to Dublin and he met Denchs mother while he was studying medicine at Trinity College, Dublin. Dench attended The Mount School, a Quaker independent secondary school in York and her brothers, one of whom was actor Jeffery Dench, were born in Tyldesley, Lancashire. Her niece, Emma Dench, is a Roman historian and professor previously at Birkbeck, University of London, and currently at Harvard University. In Britain, Dench has developed a reputation as one of the greatest actresses of the period, primarily through her work in theatre. She has more than once been named one in polls for Britains best actor. Through her parents, Dench had regular contact with the theatre and her father, a physician, was the GP for the York theatre, and her mother was its wardrobe mistress. Actors often stayed in the Dench household, during these years, Judi Dench was involved on a non-professional basis in the first three productions of the modern revival of the York Mystery Plays in the 1950s.
In 1957, in one of the last productions in which she appeared during this period, she played the role of the Virgin Mary, performed on a fixed stage in the Museum Gardens. Though she initially trained as a set designer, she became interested in school as her brother Jeff attended the Central School of Speech
Ambassador Theatre Group
The Ambassador Theatre Group is a major international theatre organisation headquartered in the United Kingdom, with offices in London, New York, Sydney and Cologne. ATGs key operations comprise three inter-related activities, theatre ownership and management, theatre producing activity, and ticketing and marketing operations, ATG runs 46 venues in Britain, the US and Australia. The company is among the most prolific producers in the world with co-productions in the UK, New York, across North America, Europe. It is considered a leader in theatre ticketing services through ATG Tickets, LOVEtheatre. The company was founded and run by the team of Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire OBE. ATGs business model involves the combination of theatre ownership with production management, marketing, ATG manage 45 theatres and one cinema in the Britain, the USA and Australia. In 2015, ATG acquired ACE Theatrical Group, a company which specialises in the operation, design and construction of world-class, live performance venues throughout North America.
BB Group productions include West Side Story, We Will Rock You, The Rocky Horror Show, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ballet Revolución, The Lion King, BB Group has won the tender to re-develop the Staatenhaus in Cologne as a 1700-seat theatre. ATG has its own producing arm, ATG Productions, ATG ’s production activities expanded with the launch of Theatre Royal Brighton Productions and the formation of producing partnerships with directors Jerry Mitchell and Jamie Lloyd in 2011 and 2012. ATG has a number of production company initiatives / partnerships including Jerry Mitchell Productions, Theatre Royal Brighton Productions. ATG owns a national family entertainment and pantomime company. ATG has a partner company, Sonia Friedman Productions, a West End. Friedman will collaborate with J K Rowling on the new play based on the Harry Potter stories, Harry Potter. Being Shakespeare, starring Simon Callow, The Misanthrope, starring Damian Lewis and Keira Knightley, West Side Story, starring John Simm, ATG co-produced Constellations on Broadway and currently co-producing multi-Tony Award-winning The King and I with Lincoln Center Theater.
ATG’s productions in Australia include Ghost the Musical, Legally Blonde – the Musical, Thriller Live, The Rocky Horror Show and Dolls and West Side Story. ATG runs ATG Tickets, which provides the in-house ticketing services to ATG’s UK theatre’s and manages ATG’s Theatre Card membership programme and ticketing promotional partnerships. The ticketing website atgtickets. com was launched in 2008 and has since been recognised by Hitwise as the UK’s number one theatre ticketing website, in 2011, ATG Theatre Card, the UK’s largest paid-for theatre membership scheme was launched. com and GroupLine. Squire and Panter had known each other since 1979, and Panter offered Squire a job after she was redundant in 1986
London /ˈlʌndən/ is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south east of the island of Great Britain and it was founded by the Romans, who named it Londinium. Londons ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its 1. 12-square-mile medieval boundaries. London is a global city in the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism. It is crowned as the worlds largest financial centre and has the fifth- or sixth-largest metropolitan area GDP in the world, London is a world cultural capital. It is the worlds most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the worlds largest city airport system measured by passenger traffic, London is the worlds leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. Londons universities form the largest concentration of education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted the modern Summer Olympic Games three times, London has a diverse range of people and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken in the region.
Its estimated mid-2015 municipal population was 8,673,713, the largest of any city in the European Union, Londons urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census. The citys metropolitan area is the most populous in the EU with 13,879,757 inhabitants, the city-region therefore has a similar land area and population to that of the New York metropolitan area. London was the worlds most populous city from around 1831 to 1925, Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Pauls Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, and The Shard. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world, the etymology of London is uncertain. It is an ancient name, found in sources from the 2nd century and it is recorded c.121 as Londinium, which points to Romano-British origin, and hand-written Roman tablets recovered in the city originating from AD 65/70-80 include the word Londinio. The earliest attempted explanation, now disregarded, is attributed to Geoffrey of Monmouth in Historia Regum Britanniae and this had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had allegedly taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
From 1898, it was accepted that the name was of Celtic origin and meant place belonging to a man called *Londinos. The ultimate difficulty lies in reconciling the Latin form Londinium with the modern Welsh Llundain, which should demand a form *lōndinion, from earlier *loundiniom. The possibility cannot be ruled out that the Welsh name was borrowed back in from English at a date, and thus cannot be used as a basis from which to reconstruct the original name. Until 1889, the name London officially applied only to the City of London, two recent discoveries indicate probable very early settlements near the Thames in the London area
The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, song and dance. Elements of art, such as painted scenery and stagecraft such as lighting are used to enhance the physicality, the specific place of the performance is named by the word theatre as derived from the Ancient Greek θέατρον, itself from θεάομαι. Modern theatre, broadly defined, includes performances of plays and musical theatre, there are connections between theatre and the art forms of ballet and various other forms. The city-state of Athens is where western theatre originated, participation in the city-states many festivals—and mandatory attendance at the City Dionysia as an audience member in particular—was an important part of citizenship. The Greeks developed the concepts of dramatic criticism and theatre architecture, Actors were either amateur or at best semi-professional. The theatre of ancient Greece consisted of three types of drama, tragedy and the satyr play, the origins of theatre in ancient Greece, according to Aristotle, the first theoretician of theatre, are to be found in the festivals that honoured Dionysus.
The performances were given in semi-circular auditoria cut into hillsides, capable of seating 10, the stage consisted of a dancing floor, dressing room and scene-building area. Since the words were the most important part, good acoustics, the actors wore masks appropriate to the characters they represented, and each might play several parts. Athenian tragedy—the oldest surviving form of tragedy—is a type of dance-drama that formed an important part of the culture of the city-state. Having emerged sometime during the 6th century BCE, it flowered during the 5th century BCE, no tragedies from the 6th century BCE and only 32 of the more than a thousand that were performed in during the 5th century BCE have survived. We have complete texts extant by Aeschylus and Euripides, the origins of tragedy remain obscure, though by the 5th century BCE it was institution alised in competitions held as part of festivities celebrating Dionysus. As contestants in the City Dionysias competition playwrights were required to present a tetralogy of plays, the performance of tragedies at the City Dionysia may have begun as early as 534 BCE, official records begin from 501 BCE, when the satyr play was introduced.
More than 130 years later, the philosopher Aristotle analysed 5th-century Athenian tragedy in the oldest surviving work of dramatic theory—his Poetics, Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into three periods, Old Comedy, Middle Comedy, and New Comedy. Old Comedy survives today largely in the form of the surviving plays of Aristophanes. New Comedy is known primarily from the papyrus fragments of Menander. Aristotle defined comedy as a representation of people that involves some kind of blunder or ugliness that does not cause pain or disaster. In addition to the categories of comedy and tragedy at the City Dionysia, finding its origins in rural, agricultural rituals dedicated to Dionysus, the satyr play eventually found its way to Athens in its most well-known form. Satyrs themselves were tied to the god Dionysus as his loyal companions, often engaging in drunken revelry