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Greek Theatre History Worksheet
Follow along with the website shown below and fill in the blanks.
Theatre Space
-Around _______ - _______. Greeks began acting to celebrate the change of seasons. This event
was called ______________ _______________. During this event men dressed up in rough goat
skins and would sing songs. Eventually this changed into a competition between different tribes
for the best play. In the play there would be 3 men and a chorus (dancers) would fill in the rest of
the play. The different plays would have a beginning, middle and end; most of them would be
tragic based off of _____________, history, and even the meaning of life and
even _____________. During the plays they would start off with a prologue (a brief summary of
the story), next would do a paradox (introduced the characters), then the exposition and mood
come into play and ends with exodus (where characters and chorus depart). Plays would be
performed in ____________ _____________ and everyone would have to attend, it would
almost be like a town meeting in a sense. The actors would wear mask and would wear different
kinds of togas and jewelry.
Events During this Time
-In Greece from 500-220 B.C. a lot of things were going on. Greece was not one country it was
broken up into city-states. And in this time these city-states fought a lot. Two major city-states
were Athens and ___________. They usually fought for land because more land lead to more
power. But also during this time some good things happened like in _________ the first bank
was founded in Athens. And in 290 BC the _______________ _____ ______________ was
built. The Greeks didn't not believe in only one god they were __________________, they
believed in many like _____________ and _____________. So religion really had no
interruption in the government.
Important People
-During this time the most famous playwrights were Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and
Aristophanes. Aeschylus was a Greek playwright, he is considered to be the ______________
____ ________________. Sophocles was probably the most popular playwright during Greek
times. He won many writing competitions. And he is thought to have written over 100 plays.
Some are Oedipus the King, Ajax, and Electra. Euripides was the last of the great Greek tragedy
writers. Euripides was different in that he used very strong women characters and intelligent
slaves in his plays. ____________________ is another Greek playwright. He wrote comedies, he
is considered the father of the comedic plays. Some plays he wrote are The Fish, The
Birds, _____________ and more... Now ______________ is known as the first person to appear
on stage as an actor enacting a character in a play. He sang and danced. He introduced
a tragedy style of acting. He introduced masks and multiple person plays.
~Summary: Two men are traveling to get birds to help them to build a city. And they have to try
to persuade the birds to help them build the city. The city is supposed to between the gods and
the mortals. And they face trouble and problems along the way.
~Excerpt from Aristophanes play The Birds 227-262:
-In this time period they didn't really invent new things for acting but just improved to the stage.
Some changes they made were they made the __________ even bigger so the people sitting at
the top could see the faces and further understand the play. Also they added a _____________
__________, the theatre only to use it if needed to. Another thing they changed is they
added ______ ______________ ____ _______________. This was just a room usually
rectangular. It was used for things like _____________ (a ceremony where poets would tell
about their plays and actors). And dancers would wait there to come on stage. A nice thing that
they did was for people who could not afford the expensive theatre tickets they mad it cheaper
for them to come and see the plays. The improvements they made were to improve their
performances and make them flow a little better.
Styles of Acting
-The Greeks had two styles of acting. One was tragedy. _____________ were the first kind of
acting to appear in Greece .Their costumes were made out of _________ ___________. And
they sang songs and danced and also gave burnt offerings at the alter to their gods. The person
who kind of started this style was Thespis. The second was _____________ plays. Aristophanes
was the person who wrote most of comedy plays.