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Study Guide For Teachers
Seth Reichgott
Chariot of the Sun
presented by
Young Audiences
(866) 500-9265
The history of ancient Greece can be divided
into five periods: 1200-700 BC, The Dark Ages (when
Homer lived); 700-500 BC, The Archaic period; 500336 BC, the Classical Period (probably the best
known); 336-331 BC, the Hellenistic Period
(Alexander the Great); and The Decline of Ancient
Greece. It was during the last century BCE that the
Roman Empire became more powerful than Greece;
however, at the same time, it was greatly influenced
by Greek culture.
Greek myths have been popular for centuries
and have had an enormous influence on Western
Civilization. Today, they continue to gain attention in
both academic research and popular culture.
The Greeks communicated and celebrated
their myths in honor of the god Dionysus. Early on,
spectators sat on the side of a hill as performers
danced and sang below in front of an altar.
Eventually, theaters were constructed out of stone
and were capable of seating thousands of spectators.
By 450 BCE, theater had reached an ideal form,
achieving a unique interconnection and balance
between the following:
1. The theatrical artistry (which includes the works of
Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes)
2. The subject matter (the Greek myths)
3. The relationship society had with its theatre
Chariot of the Sun introduces young children to
the heroes, gods, and monsters of Greek
mythology. Performed in-the-round, the show
utilizes comedy, masks, creative costuming and,
at times, audience members, to bring the classic
myths to life. The show presents three separate
myths--including the story of Helios and Phaethon,
in which a boy attempts to drive his father’s sun
chariot across the sky.
Students will:
 Be introduced to Greek mythology through a
live theatrical performance
 Share ideas about Greek mythology
 Be inspired to learn more about ancient Greek
and Roman culture
1. Set up a chart on the board listing what students
Know about ancient Greece, what they Want to
Know, and leave a blank column for what they
Learned to fill in after the show.
2. Make sure to discuss the cosmology of the
ancient world if students do not include it in the
previous exercise. Especially important is the
idea that the ancient Greeks believed in many
gods, and each god controlled some aspects of
life on earth.
3. Read several Greek or Roman myths as a class,
or individually. Discuss the ancient world as
presented in the myths. What can they now add
to their chart under “Learned”?
4. Discuss how they might act out one or more of the
myths that they read. What aspects of the myths
might be difficult to convey on stage? How might
they solve the problem of staging the supernatural
aspects of the myths?
5. Make sure to talk about the difference between
seeing a live performance and watching a
performance by an actor on television or in the
movies. Students need to know that they are an
important part of the show they are about to see.
The actor gets energy from them, so they need to
make sure to give their full attention during the
Aphrodite: goddess of love and beauty
Apollo: god of the sun, a skilled musician
Ares: god of war
Artemis: goddess of the moon
Athene: goddess of wisdom and war
Demeter: goddess of earth and harvest
Dionysus: god of wine and the theater
Hades: god of the Underworld
Hera: wife of Zeus, queen of the gods
Hermes: messenger god
Pandora: first woman, is given a box by Zeus
Poseidon: god of the ocean
Zeus: king of the gods, ruler of Olympus
Atlanta: a human heroine, killed the Caldonian Boar
Centaur: a mythical creature; half man, half horse
Chimera: a mythical creature with the head of a lion,
middle of a goat, tail of a poisonous snake
Cyclops: one-eyed giant
Gorgon: a dragon-like creature with wings who turned
people to stone
Griffin: a creature with the body of a lion, and head and
wings of an eagle
Hydra: nine-headed monster
Minotaur: half bull, half human
Odysseus: fought in the Trojan War, hero in The Odyssey
Perseus: cut off head of Medusa
Theseus: hero of Athens, killed the Minotaur
Chariot: a two-wheeled, horse-drawn vehicle
Chiton: a garment worn by men and women
Lyre: a stringed instrument, similar to a harp
River Styx: river of the unbreakable oath by which the
gods swear; the river of death
1. Discuss the myths that you heard in the program.
Did you hear any of the ones you read? How
were they different when you saw them acted out?
2. Add to the “Learned” column of your chart above.
3. Talk about the ways that Seth Reichgott was able
to convey aspects of the story that were difficult to
stage. How did he portray the monsters in the
myths? How did he portray the supernatural
4. Have students draw a picture (or create a
diorama) depicting a scene from their favorite
myth. Then, have them present their pictures to
the class and explain why this was their favorite
5. Have students write about a personal encounter
they have with an ancient Greek god. They could
begin with something that really happened to them
and add in a meeting with the god who caused the
situation, or they could make up all aspects of the
story. After writing, have them illustrate their tale.
6. Share pictures of buildings that have Greek or
Roman design elements. Discuss these elements
(arches, types of columns, etc.). Then, have
students keep an architectural notebook where
they document all the Greek or Roman design
elements they can find in their school,
neighborhood, or homes.
Seth Reichgott was a member of the Bloomsburg
Theatre Ensemble from 1992 to 1999, where he was
part of more than fifty productions as actor, director,
or writer. Seth was an original member of the touring
street theatre troupe Le Pamplemousse, and his
award-winning slapstick clown show, Man Plans, has
toured extensively in the United States and Canada.
Seth has written several children’s plays about
science, and recently appeared in The Arden Theatre
company’s production of The Baker’s Wife in
Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University
and The Dell’Arte International School of Physical
Favorite Greek Myths by Mary Pope Osborne
Usborne Illustrated Guide to Greek Myths and
Legends by Cheryl Evens and Anne Millard
The Wanderings of Odysseus: the Story of The
Odyssey by Rosemary Sutcliff
The MacMillan Book of Greek Gods and Heroes by
Alice Low
The Odyssey
Geraldine McCaughrean
Oxford University Press
ISBN 0192741535
The Wandering of Odysseus: The Story of the
Rosemary Sutcliff
Delcorte Press
ISBN 0385322054
Favorite Greek Myths
Mary Pope Osborne
Scholastic, Inc.
ISBN 0590413384
Bernard Eusiin
Chelsea House Publishing
ISBN 1555462383
The MacMillan Book of Greek Gods and
Alice Low
Simon & Schuster
ISBN 0027613909
The Greeks
Roy Burrel
Oxford University Press
ISBN 0199171610