Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation is a non-profit membership organization that seeks to document and preserve the architectural heritage and cultural history of several downtown New York City neighborhoods: Greenwich Village, the Far West Village, the Meatpacking District, the South Village, NoHo, the East Village. In these historic neighborhoods, GVSHP seeks both to protect historic resources and to monitor new development via an array of advocacy and outreach efforts, involvement in governmental process and public discourse, educational programs for adults and children, its work toward securing historic district and landmarks protections, saving significant buildings from demolition, securing contextual zoning for sections of neighborhoods, right-sizing plans for new construction has earned wide praise from preservation leaders. GVSHP has helped secure designation of ten new historic districts or district extensions, landmark status for dozens of buildings, four contextual rezonings.
GVSHP has received numerous distinctions in preservation and real estate circles, such as the Preservation League of New York State's "Excellence in Historic Preservation Award" for organizational excellence, Executive Director Andrew Berman's inclusion in The New York Observer's "The 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate." GVSHP was founded in 1980 as the Greenwich Village Trust for Historic Preservation. In 1982, Regina Kellerman, a prominent architectural historian and co-founder of GVT, was named as its first executive director, GVT moved its operations to the Salmagundi Club at 47 Fifth Avenue. In 1984, GVT changed its name to the current one, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Throughout the 1980s, GVSHP initiated research on the history and architecture of Greenwich Village, including subjects like the Gansevoort Meat Market, Bleecker Street and maritime history of the Greenwich Village waterfront. In 1991, GVSHP launched its first educational program, “Greenwich Village: History and Historic Preservation,” as a joint effort with the Merchant's House Museum, and, in 1995, designed and published a 12-page children’s workbook, “Discovering Greenwich Village,” for distribution to children in the school program.
The education program has since been expanded to include field-trip style walking tours of Greenwich Village, encouraging students to examine the architectural form of Greenwich Village as a manifestation of its social history and context. In the mid-1990s, GVSHP initiated an oral history project to document the experiences of Village preservationists of the twentieth century, many of whom were involved in defeating Robert Moses's Lower Manhattan Expressway; the participants in the oral history project include famous Village residents such as Jane Jacobs, Edwin Fancher, Doris Diether. Since 1999, GVSHP has operated from the Neighborhood Preservation Center, the former rectory of St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, on East 11th Street, increased its focus on the East Village since moving its office to that neighborhood. Major ongoing efforts include advocacy around the proposed transfer of development rights in Greenwich Village along the Hudson River Park; the group testifies before the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, monitors applications for alterations to protected buildings.
GVSHP has taken the lead in advocating for designation of the South Village as a historic district. The first section of this historic district was designated in 2010, a second in 2013, but the group continues to press for a third section to be landmarked. In the West Village, the group celebrates the singular role the area has played in the LGBT civil rights movement, has advocated for several official recognitions of this history; as the Real Estate Board of New York has faulted preservation protections for New York City’s housing affordability crisis, GVSHP has rebutted those claims. GVSHP responds to development and preservation issues as they arise, but hosts a full yearly calendar of community and commemorative programs; each month, the group offers several free programs, including lectures, walking tours, panel discussions, house tours, more. The organization's primary annual fundraiser is the Village House Tour, held on the first Sunday each May, its major members’ event is the Village Awards and Annual Meeting in June, at which important local citizens and civic groups are recognized for their work benefiting the community.
In 2014, the organization produced a book of stories and artworks entitled “Greenwich Village Stories,” published by Rizzoli. This collection of art and text by contributors including Nat Hentoff, Lou Reed, Hettie Jones, Saul Leiter and Jane Freilicher is sold through mainstream booksellers as a partial fundraiser for GVSHP. In partnership with a local business, the group places two historic plaques per year on sites of cultural or historic importance, such as the former location of the San Remo Café in July 2013 and the former home of poet Frank O’Hara in June 2014. GVSHP runs a children’s program through local schools, employing trained educators to teach students how history can be understood through the built environment, using Greenwich Village as a living museum. A continuing education program for real estate professionals includes lectures, slide shows and walking tours on aspects of architecture and planning history. Another ongoing project that promotes an understanding of the Village’s historic importance is the Greenwich Village Preservation Archive and
Greenwich Village referred to by locals as "the Village", is a neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan, New York City, within Lower Manhattan. Broadly, Greenwich Village is bounded by 14th Street to the north, Broadway to the east, Houston Street to the south, the Hudson River to the west. Greenwich Village contains several subsections, including the West Village west of Seventh Avenue and the Meatpacking District in the northwest corner of Greenwich Village. In the 20th century, Greenwich Village was known as an artists' haven, the Bohemian capital, the cradle of the modern LGBT movement, the East Coast birthplace of both the Beat and'60s counterculture movements. Groenwijck, one of the Dutch names for the village, was Anglicized to Greenwich. Greenwich Village contains Washington Square Park, as well as two of New York's private colleges, New York University and the New School. Greenwich Village is part of Manhattan Community District 2, is patrolled by the 6th Precinct of the New York City Police Department.
Greenwich Village has undergone extensive commercialization. The neighborhood is bordered by Broadway to the east, the North River to the west, Houston Street to the south, 14th Street to the north, centered on Washington Square Park and New York University; the neighborhoods surrounding it are the East Village and NoHo to the east, SoHo and Hudson Square to the south, Chelsea and Union Square to the north. The East Village was considered part of the Lower East Side and has never been considered a part of Greenwich Village; the western part of Greenwich Village is known as the West Village. The Far West Village is another sub-neighborhood of Greenwich Village, bordered on its west by the Hudson River and on its east by Hudson Street. Into the early 20th century, Greenwich Village was distinguished from the upper-class neighborhood of Washington Square—based on the major landmark of Washington Square Park or Empire Ward in the 19th century. Encyclopædia Britannica's 1956 article on "New York" states that the southern border of the Village is Spring Street, reflecting an earlier understanding.
The newer district of SoHo has since encroached on this border. As Greenwich Village was once a rural, isolated hamlet to the north of the 17th century European settlement on Manhattan Island, its street layout is more organic than the planned grid pattern of the 19th century grid plan. Greenwich Village was allowed to keep the 18th century street pattern of what is now called the West Village: areas that were built up when the plan was implemented, west of what is now Greenwich Avenue and Sixth Avenue, resulted in a neighborhood whose streets are different, in layout, from the ordered structure of the newer parts of Manhattan. Many of the neighborhood's streets some curve at odd angles; this is regarded as adding to both the historic character and charm of the neighborhood. In addition, as the meandering Greenwich Street used to be on the Hudson River shoreline, much of the neighborhood west of Greenwich Street is on landfill, but still follows the older street grid; when Sixth and Seventh Avenues were built in the early 20th century, they were built diagonally to the existing street plan, many older, smaller streets had to be demolished.
Unlike the streets of most of Manhattan above Houston Street, streets in the Village are named rather than numbered. While some of the named streets are now numbered, they still do not always conform to the usual grid pattern when they enter the neighborhood. For example, West 4th Street runs east-west across most of Manhattan, but runs north-south in Greenwich Village, causing it to intersect with West 10th, 11th, 12th Streets before ending at West 13th Street. A large section of Greenwich Village, made up of more than 50 northern and western blocks in the area up to 14th Street, is part of a Historic District established by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; the District's convoluted borders run no farther south than 4th Street or St. Luke's Place, no farther east than Washington Square East or University Place. Redevelopment in that area is restricted, developers must preserve the main façade and aesthetics of the buildings during renovation. Most of the buildings of Greenwich Village are mid-rise apartments, 19th century row houses, the occasional one-family walk-up, a sharp contrast to the high-rise landscape in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan.
Politically, Greenwich Village is in New York's 10th congressional district. It is in the New York State Senate's 25th district, the New York State Assembly's 66th district, the New York City Council's 3rd district. In the 16th century, Native Americans referred to its farthest northwest corner, by the cove on the Hudson River at present-day Gansevoort Street, as Sapokanikan; the land was cleared and turned into pasture by Dutch and freed African settlers in the 1630s, who named their settlement Noortwyck. In the 1630s, Governor Wouter van Twiller farmed tobacco on 200 acres (0.81 k
Agnès Varda was a Belgian-born French film director and artist. Her work was pioneering for, central to, the development of the influential French New Wave film movement of the 1950s and 1960s, her films focused on achieving documentary realism, addressing feminist issues, and/or producing other social commentary, with a distinctive experimental style. Varda's work employed location shooting in an era when the limitations of sound technology made it easier and more common to film indoors, with constructed sets and painted backdrops of landscapes, rather than the real thing, her use of non-professional actors was unconventional in the context of 1950s French cinema. Among other awards and nominations, she received an honorary Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, an Academy Honorary Award, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Varda was born Arlette Varda on 30 May 1928 in Ixelles, Belgium, to Christiane and Eugène Jean Varda, an engineer.
Her mother was from Sète, her father was a member of a family of Greek refugees from Asia Minor. She was the third of five children. Varda changed her first name to Agnès at age 18. During World War II, she lived on a boat in Sète with the rest of her family. Varda attended the Lycée et collège Victor-Duruy, received a bachelor's degree in literature and psychology from the Sorbonne, she described her relocation to Paris as a "truly excruciating" one that gave her "a frightful memory of my arrival in this grey, sad city." She did not get along with her fellow students and described classes at the Sorbonne as "stupid, abstract, scandalously unsuited for the lofty needs one had at that age." Varda intended to become a museum curator, studied art history at the École du Louvre, but decided to study photography at the Vaugirard School of Photography instead. She began her career as a still photographer before becoming one of the major voices of the Left Bank Cinema and the French New Wave. However, she maintained a fluid interrelationship between photographic and cinematic forms: "I take photographs or I make films.
Or I put films in the photos, or photos in the films."Varda discussed her beginnings with the medium of still photography: "I started earning a living from photography straight away, taking trivial photographs of families and weddings to make money. But I wanted to make what I called'compositions.' And it was with these that I had the impression I was doing something where I was asking questions with composition and meaning." In 1951, her friend Jean Vilar opened the Théâtre National Populaire and hired Varda as its official photographer. Before accepting her position there, she worked as a stage photographer for the Theatre Festival of Avignon, she worked at the Théâtre National Populaire for ten years from 1951 to 1961, during which time her reputation grew and she obtained photo-journalist jobs throughout Europe. Varda's still photography sometimes inspired her subsequent motion pictures, she recounted: "When I made my first film, La Pointe Courte — without experience, without having been an assistant before, without having gone to film school — I took photographs of everything I wanted to film, photographs that are models for the shots.
And I started making films with the sole experience of photography, that's to say, where to place the camera, at what distance, with which lens and what lights?" She recalled another example:I made a film in 1982 called Ulysse, based on another photograph I took in 1954, one I'd made with the same bellows camera, I started Ulysse with the words,'I used to see the image upside down.' There's an image of a goat on the ground, like a fallen constellation, and, the origin of the photograph. With those cameras, you'd frame the image upside down, so I saw Brassaï through the camera with his head at the bottom of the image. In 2010 Varda joined the gallery Nathalie Obadia; the beginning of Varda's filmmaking career pre-dates the start of the French New Wave, but contains many elements specific to that movement. While working as a photographer, Varda became interested in making a film, although she stated that she knew little about the medium and had only seen around twenty films by the age of twenty-five.
She said that she wrote her first screenplay "just the way a person writes his first book. When I'd finished writing it, I thought to myself:'I'd like to shoot that script,' and so some friends and I formed a cooperative to make it." She found the filmmaking process difficult because it did not allow the same freedom as writing a novel. In an interview with The Believer, Varda stated that she wanted to make films that related to her time, rather than focusing on traditions or classical standards. Varda was interested in moving into film. After spending a few days filming the small French fishing town of La Pointe Courte for a terminally ill friend who could no longer visit on his own, Varda decided to shoot a feature film of her own, thus in 1954, Varda's first film, La Pointe Courte, about an unhappy couple working through their relationship in a small fishing town, was released. The film is a stylistic precursor to the French New Wave. At the time, Varda was influenced by the philosophy of Gaston Bachelard, under whom she had once studied at the Sorbonne.
"She was interested in his theory of'l'imagination des matières,' in which certain personality traits were found to correspond to concrete elements in a kind of psychoanalysis of the material world." This idea finds expressi
Kelly Reichardt is a screenwriter and film director working within U. S. indie cinema. Her credits include Old Joy and Lucy, Meek's Cutoff, Night Moves and Certain Women. Reichardt was raised in Miami, Florida, she developed a passion for photography. Her parents were law enforcement officers, she earned her MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Aside from working as a director, she makes money by teaching at several liberal arts colleges, her debut film River of Grass was released in 1994. It was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards, as well as the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, it was named as one of the best films of 1995 by the Boston Globe, Film Comment, Village Voice. Reichardt had trouble making another feature film, saying "I had 10 years from the mid-1990s when I couldn’t get a movie made, it had a lot to do with being a woman. That’s a factor in raising money. During that time, it was impossible to get anything going, so I just said, ‘Fuck you!’ and did Super 8 shorts instead."In 1999, she completed her sophomore feature, based on Herman Raucher's novel Ode to Billie Joe.
Next, she made two short films, Then a Year, made in 2001, Travis, which deals with the Iraq War, in 2004. In these two films, critics have noted that she makes clear her displeasure with the Bush administration and their handling of the Iraq War in a subtle manner that she does. Most of her films are regarded by critics to be part of the minimalist movement in films. In 2006, she completed Old Joy, based on a short story in Jon Raymond's collection Livability. Daniel London and singer-songwriter Will Oldham portray two friends who reunite for a camping trip to the Cascades and Bagby Hot Springs, near Portland, Oregon; the film won awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival. Notably, it was the first American film to win the Tiger Award at the Rotterdam Film Festival. Neil Kopp won the Producer's Award at the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards for his work on Old Joy and Paranoid Park. For her next film and Lucy, she and Jon Raymond adapted another story from Livability.
The film explores the themes of loneliness and hopelessness through the story of a woman looking for her lost dog. The film earned Oscar buzz for lead actress Michelle Williams, it was nominated for Best Female Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards. She directed Meek's Cutoff, a western starring Michelle Williams, it competed for the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice International Film Festival in 2010. In 2013, her film Night Moves debuted in competition at the 70th Venice International Film Festival; the film was considered a shift in tone from her other slower and more melancholic films due to the story suggesting a more intense thriller about a secret plot to blow up a dam. Reichardt is an Artist-in-Residence in the Film and Electronic Arts program at Bard College. Reichardt is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship Reichardt's latest film, Certain Women, is based on Maile Meloy's 2009 collection of short stories, Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It, was shot in March/April 2015 in Montana.
Michelle Williams, Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart are starring. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions bought the rights to distribution; the film premiered January 2016 at the Sundance Film Festival. Reichardt won the top award at the 2016 London Film Festival for Certain Women. In October 2016, Reichardt revealed that for her next film she will be collaborating with author Patrick DeWitt in an adaptation of his novel Undermajordomo Minor, which could be shot outside of the U. S. In October 2018, it was announced Reichardt had put Undermajordomo Minor on hold and would instead reunite with Raymond to direct First Cow, an adaptation of his novel The Half-Life, she edits her films herself and has a reputation as a efficient filmmaker. Overall, the films that she has directed have all received positive reviews from critics, with all of them being above 80% on the film reviews aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with the highest being Certain Women. Being a director working in indie cinema, her films have not been huge hits at the box office, with Certain Women being the most successful at $1.1 million.
Reichardt's films have been called minimalist and realist, with film critic A. O. Scott describing Wendy and Lucy as part of a new American Independent cinema he termed "Neo-Neo Realism" due to its thematic and aesthetic similarity to the classic Italian neorealist films like Rome Open City and Paisan. Reichardt herself has stated that her films are "just glimpses of people passing through", she recognises her style of minimalist storytelling, saying that "A movie is a series of reveals and you're supposed to sit in a room and tell someone what it all means. That goes against everything that I just worked for, so I have no interest in summing it all up. It's all out there"; the realist tendencies in her films positions them in line with Matthew Flanagan's idea of slow cinema due to her use of long takes, minimal dialogue and minimalist action, which are all characteristics of slow cinema that allow the audience to pause for contemplation. In addition to this realist style, her films focus on characters who are living in the margins of society, who are not represented on screen, or who are in search of a better quality of life and place in the world.
She is interested in characters "who don’t have a net, who if you sneezed on them, their world would fall apart". Her films tackle distinct aspects of the American experience that are sel
A movie theater, cinema, or cinema hall known as a picture house or the pictures, is a building that contains an auditorium for viewing films for entertainment. Most, but not all, theaters are commercial operations catering to the general public, who attend by purchasing a ticket; some movie theaters, are operated by non-profit organizations or societies that charge members a membership fee to view films. The film is projected with a movie projector onto a large projection screen at the front of the auditorium while the dialogue and music are played through a number of wall-mounted speakers. Since the 1970s, subwoofers have been used for low-pitched sounds. In the 2010s, most movie theaters are equipped for digital cinema projection, removing the need to create and transport a physical film print on a heavy reel. A great variety of films are shown at cinemas, ranging from animated films to blockbusters to documentaries; the smallest movie theaters have a single viewing room with a single screen.
In the 2010s, most movie theaters have multiple screens. The largest theater complexes, which are called multiplexes—a design developed in the US in the 1960s—have up to thirty screens; the audience members sit on padded seats, which in most theaters are set on a sloped floor, with the highest part at the rear of the theater. Movie theaters sell soft drinks and candy, some theaters sell hot fast food. In some jurisdictions, movie theaters can be licensed to sell alcoholic drinks. A movie theater may be referred to as a movie theatre, movie house, film house, film theater or picture house. In the US, theater has long been the preferred spelling, while in the UK, Australia and elsewhere it is theatre. However, some US theaters opt to use the British spelling in their own names, a practice supported by the National Association of Theatre Owners, while apart from North America most English-speaking countries use the term cinema, alternatively spelled and pronounced kinema; the latter terms, as well as their derivative adjectives "cinematic" and "kinematic" derive from Greek κινῆμα, κινήματος —"movement", "motion".
In the countries where those terms are used, the word "theatre" is reserved for live performance venues. Colloquial expressions applied to motion pictures and motion picture theaters collectively, include the silver screen and the big screen. Specific to North American term is the movies, while specific terms in the UK are the pictures, the flicks and for the facility itself the flea pit. A screening room is a small theater a private one, such as for the use of those involved in the production of motion pictures or in a large private residence; the etymology of the term "movie theater" involves the term "movie", a "shortened form of moving picture in the cinematographic sense", first used in 1896 and "theater", which originated in the "...late 14c. "open air place in ancient times for viewing spectacles and plays". The term "theater" comes from the Old French word "theatre", from the 12th century and "...directly from Latin theatrum'play-house, theater. The use of the word "theatre" to mean a "building where plays are shown" dates from the 1570s in the English language.
The earliest precursors to movies were magic lantern shows. Magic lanterns used a glass lens, a shutter and a powerful lamp to project images from glass slides onto a white wall or screen; these slides were hand-painted. The invention of the Argand lamp in the 1790s, limelight in the 1820s and the intensely bright electric arc lamp in the 1860s increased the brightness of the images; the magic lantern could project rudimentary moving images, achieved by the use of various types of mechanical slides. Two glass slides, one with the stationary part of the picture and the other with the part, to move, would be placed one on top of the other and projected together the moving slide would be hand-operated, either directly or by means of a lever or other mechanism. Chromotrope slides, which produced eye-dazzling displays of continuously cycling abstract geometrical patterns and colors, were operated by means of a small crank and pulley wheel that rotated a glass disc. Still photographs were used on after the widespread availability of photography technologies after the mid-19th century.
Magic lantern shows were given at fairs or as part of magic shows. A magic lantern show at the 1851 World's Fair caused a sensation among the audience; the next significant step towards movies was the development of an understanding of image movement. Simulations of movement date as far back as to 1828, when Paul Roget discovered the phenomenon he called "persistence of vision". Roget showed that when a series of still images are shown in front of a viewer's eye, the images merge into one registered image that appears to show movement, an optical illusion, since the image is not moving; this experience was further demonstrated through Roget's introduction of the thaumatrope, a device which spun a disk with an image on its surface at a high rate of speed. The French Lumière brothers' first film, Sortie de l'usine Lumière de Lyon, shot in 1894, is considered the first true motion picture. From 1894 to the late 1920s, movie theaters showed silent films, which were films with no synchronized recorded sound or dialogue.
A theater, theatre or playhouse, is a structure where theatrical works or plays are performed, or other performances such as musical concerts may be produced. While a theater is not required for performance, a theater serves to define the performance and audience spaces; the facility is traditionally organized to provide support areas for performers, the technical crew and the audience members. There are as many types of theaters. Theaters may be built for a certain types of productions, they may serve for more general performance needs or they may be adapted or converted for use as a theater, they may range from open-air amphitheaters to ornate, cathedral-like structures to simple, undecorated rooms or black box theaters. Some theaters may have a fixed acting area, while some theaters, such as black box theaters, may not, allowing the director and designers to construct an acting area suitable for the production; the most important of these areas is the acting space known as the stage. In some theaters proscenium theaters, arena theaters and amphitheaters, this area is permanent part of the structure.
In a blackbox theater the acting area is undefined so that each theater may adapt to a production. In addition to these acting spaces, there may be offstage spaces as well; these include wings on either side of a proscenium stage where props and scenery may be stored as well as a place for actors awaiting an entrance. A Prompter's box may be found backstage. In an amphitheater, an area behind the stage may be designated for such uses while a blackbox theater may have spaces outside of the actual theater designated for such uses. A theater will incorporate other spaces intended for the performers and other personnel. A booth facing the stage may be incorporated into the house where lighting and sound personnel may view the show and run their respective instruments. Other rooms in the building may be used for dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, spaces for constructing sets and costumes, as well as storage. There are two main entrances: one at the front, used by the audience, that leads into the back of the audience, sometimes first going through a ticket booth.
The second is called the stage door, it is accessible from backstage. This is the means by which the cast and crew enter and exit the theater, fans wait outside it after the show in order to get autographs, called "stage dooring"; this term can be used to refer to going to a lot of shows or living in a big theater city, such as New York or Chicago. All theaters provide a space for an audience; the audience is separated from the performers by the proscenium arch. In proscenium theaters and amphitheaters, the proscenium arch, like the stage, is a permanent feature of the structure; this area is known as the house. Like the stage in a blackbox theater, this area is defined by the production The seating areas can include some or all of the following: Stalls or arena: the lower flat area below or at the same level as the stage; the word parterre is sometimes used to refer to a particular subset of this area. In North American usage this is the rear seating block beneath the gallery whereas in Britain it can mean either the area in front near the orchestra pit, or the whole of the stalls.
The term can refer to the side stalls in some usages. Derived from the gardening term parterre, the usage refers to the sectioned pattern of both the seats of an auditorium and of the planted beds seen in garden construction. Throughout the 18th century the term was used to refer to the theater audience who occupied the parterre. Balconies or galleries: one or more raised seating platforms towards the rear of the auditorium. In larger theaters, multiple levels are stacked vertically behind the stalls; the first level is called the dress circle or grand circle. The next level may be the loge, from the French version of loggia. A second tier inserted beneath the main balcony may be the mezzanine; the highest platform, or upper circle, is sometimes known as the gods in large opera houses, where the seats can be high and a long distance from the stage. Boxes: placed to the front and above the level of the stage, they are separate rooms with an open viewing area which seat up to five people. These seats are considered the most prestigious of the house.
A "state box" or "royal box" is sometimes provided for dignitaries. House seats: these are "the best seats in the house", giving the best view of the stage. Though each theater's layout is different, these are in the center of the stalls; these seats are traditionally reserved for the cast and crew to invite family members and others. If they are not used, they go on sale on the day of the performance. Greek theater buildings were called a theatron; the theaters were open-air structures constructed on the slopes of hills. They consisted of three principal elements: the orchestra, the skene, the audience; the centerpiece of the theater was the orchestra, or "dancing place", a large circular or rectangular area. The orchestra was the site of the choral performances, the religious rites, the acting. An altar was located in the middle of the orchestra. Behind the orchestra was a large rectangular building called the skene, it was used as a "backstage" area where actors could change their costumes and masks, but also