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Roman Theatre200 BC-475 AD
Rome invaded GreeceTook over their artTook over their literatureTook over their theatre
Roman Theatre
1.Theatre was frowned on by the educated Romans2. Theatre was mainly for the lower classes3. The lower classes wanted spectacle and vulgarity4. Theatre was decadent and hollow5. Tragedies awful, Comedies vulgar slapstick
Roman Theatre
1. The Senate was hostile to theatre2. Pompeii- 61 BC builds a theatreput a statue of Venus in it and said it was a temple3. Caesar wanted a theatre too
1. Two wooden semicircles2. Turned them to create seats for chariot races and gladiator contests
Roman Theatre- features
1. Raised stage - called apulpitum- semicircle2. Back wall- three story wall- ornate-scanea frons-three doors3. Seating area connected to the stage4. Audience area- covered with a roof and “air conditioned by aqua ducts from the mountains
Roman Theatre- changes to the stage
1. Added afront curtain-rolled up from the floor along tracks2. Used aclaque- a person who clapped or booed
Roman Theatre- Writers- Comedy
PlautusCopied Greek plotsSet plays in rural settingDeveloped stock characters:Bucco- braggartPappus- comic old manMaccus- gluttonous foolDossenus- frightening hunchbackPlays were a model for Shakespeare and Moliere
Roman Theatre- Writers- Comedy
TerrenceBorrowed plots from the GreeksEliminated the chorusLines accompanied by music (musical?)Influenced the comedy of the Renaissance
Roman Theatre- Writers- Tragedy
Seneca-Plays have 5-6 actorsVery gory plotsInfluenced writers in Europe in the Renaissance
Roman Theatre-costumes and masks
Masks covered the headMade of linenHad hair attachedWore togas/tunicsStock characters had their own basic costumesMimes wore no masks
Roman Theatre-Decline
Plays overshadowed by spectaculars:Gladiator contestsChristians fed to lionsSpecial coliseums held water and had sea battlesSlaves on the ships fought- killed each otherHelped get rid of excess slaves and prisonersEveryone was killed by the time they ended
Roman Theatre-Decline
The fall of Rome- 475 ADChristian Church takes overTheatre bannedTheatre in Europe, Greece, Italy became dormantThe only place theatre continued was in Asia- the Orient





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