The front wall of the building was decorated like a palace, or a temple, and served as background scenery for the play.
The building was also a storage place for costumes, props, things like that. Yes, Robert?
So, did they decorate the skene for each play or, um, change the scenery during the play, like we do today?
Or, did the whole story take place in one setting?
Well, everything the audience saw happened in that one setting usually in front of either a temple or a palace,
but the audience didn’t witness all events in the story.
Some events couldn’t be presented convincingly, so the playwrights had them take place somewhere off stage, where the audience couldn’t see them.
And then news of the event would be reported by one of the characters. Diane?
Last summer, I saw...Hippolytus.
Excellent! I hope you enjoyed it.
Definitely. So, at one point, you see Hippolytus being sent off by his father, then a little later,
a messenger arrives and describes how Hippolytus was riding in his chariot when a giant bull appeared out of the ocean,
and caused the chariot to crash, and then, after we hear what happened to Hippolytus, he’s carried back on stage where he dies.
Exactly. I mean, can you imagine trying to show all that action, a giant animal rising out of the sea?
Um, Okay. The next area was the space the ancient Greeks called the orchestra.
The orchestra was either round, as you see here, or a semi-circle.
Um, in ancient Greek, the word orchestra actually meant the dancing place, because this is where the chorus danced and sang.