Greek theater performance

Greek Theatre History

  • 625 BCE

    625 BC : Dithyrambic Chorus

    625 BC : Dithyrambic Chorus
    625 BC: Arion of Corinth, a performer of Greece, invented the dithyrambic chorus. A dithyrambic chorus is a choral hymn sung by men to honor Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility. A tyrant of Sicyon named Cleisthenes presented the idea of choruses to Dionysus. During this time, contests were held by the Greeks to honor their gods. These contests inspired playwrighting.
  • 600 BCE

    600-570 BC : City of Dionysia

    600-570 BC : City of Dionysia
    600-570 BC: A tyrant of Athens named Pisistratus established a festival called “City of Dionysia” dedicated to Dionysus.
  • 540 BCE

    540-527 BC: Thespis

    540-527 BC: Thespis
    A Dionysian priest named Thespis became an actor. He is well-known for being the first actor.
  • 534 BCE

    534 BC: Thespis won

    534 BC: Held in Athens, the first festival was recorded. Thespis won a theatrical award in the first competition for tragedy.
  • 530 BCE

    530 BC: Tragedy

    530 BC: Tragedy
    530 BC: Tragedy plays became popular in Greece, leading Pisistratus to establish a theater. It resembled the shape of a bowl so that everyone could see what was going on.
  • 523 BCE

    525 BC: First playwright for Tragedy

    525 BC: The first playwright for tragedy, Aeschylus, was born. He wrote many tragedies such as ‘Seven against Thebes’, ‘Agamemnon’, and ‘Eumenides’.
  • 500 BCE

    500 BC: Satiric Drama

    500 BC: Pratinus of Philius introduced satiric drama to the festival. Satyrs were fictional characters that were half human and half goat.
  • 496 BCE

    496 BC: Sophocles

    496 BC: Sophocles, a tragedy playwright, was born. He wrote tragedies which consisted of the ‘Ajax’, ‘Antigone’, and ‘Oedipus the King’.
  • 485 BCE

    485 BC: Euripides

    485 BC: Euripides, another tragedy playwright, was born. He wrote ‘Medea’, ‘Helen’, and ‘Orestes’.
  • 485 BCE

    458 BC: Aeschylus' Oresteia

    “The Oresteia” trilogy by the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus consists of the three linked plays “Agamemnon”, “The Libation Bearers” and “The Eumenides”. The trilogy as a whole, originally performed at the annual Dionysia festival in Athens in 458 BCE, where it won first prize, is considered to be Aeschylus’ last authenticated, and also his greatest, work.
  • 484 BCE

    484-468 BC: Sophocles defeats Aeschylus

    484-468 BC: Aeschylus won a prize for his tragedies. A while after, Sophocles defeats Aeschylus in a dramatic competition.
  • 463 BCE

    463 BC: Aeschylus' Suppliant Women

    The Suppliants also called The Suppliant Maidens, or The Suppliant Women, is a play by Aeschylus. It was probably first performed sometime after 470 BC as the first play in a tetralogy, sometimes referred to as the Danaid Tetralogy.
  • 456 BCE

    456 BC: Aeschylus dies

    Aeschylus, the great playwriter known as the Father of Greek Tragedy, died in a most unexpected way. He was said to have been killed by a tortoise which was dropped by an eagle that had mistaken his head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell of the reptile
  • 450 BCE

    450 BC: Aristophanes' Birth

    Aristophanes was born in Athens between 450 and 445 B.C.E. into a wealthy family. He had an excellent education and was well versed in literature, especially the poetry of Homer (eighth century B.C.E. ) and other great Athenian writers. His writings also suggest a strong knowledge of the latest philosophical theories.
  • 445 BCE

    445 BC: Ajax

    Sophocles' Ajax “Ajax” is a tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Sophocles. Although the exact date of its first performance is unknown, most scholars date it to relatively early in Sophocles' career (possibly the earliest Sophoclean play still in existence), somewhere between 450 BCE to 430 BCE
  • 441 BCE

    441 BC: Sophocles' Antigone

    Antigone is a tragedy by Sophocles written in or before 441 BC.
    It is the third of the three Theban plays but was the first written, chronologically. The play expands on the Theban legend that predated it and picks up where Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes ends.
  • 438 BCE

    438 BC: Euripides' Alcestis

    Alcestis is an Athenian tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Euripides.[1] It was first produced at the City Dionysia festival in 438 BCE. Euripides presented it as the final part of a tetralogy of unconnected plays in the competition of tragedies