The History of Drama

Timeline created by aye233
In History
  • Jan 1, 800

    Plays in Ancient Greece (BC)

    Plays in Ancient Greece (BC)
    The first plays in Ancient Greece were to worship Dionysus - the wine god. These performances were acted by priests in Athens and portrayed parts of Dionysus' life. This was an extremely rich source of drama. The plays included death and suffering and soon comedy grew out of them. As drama became more popular, performances moved out into the open and people would gather on slopes of hills. Audiences would consist of several thousand people. Instead of priests, there were actors who performed.
  • Jan 1, 801

    Plays in Ancient Greece (BC)

    Plays in Ancient Greece (BC)
    Masks were now used which allowed an actor to play multiple parts. At this time, women were not allowed to act so female roles were played by men. The play would be supported by a chorus with as many as fifty people who would sing or speak simultaneously. A while later, theatres were built. The seats were carved out of rock while the stage was shaped as a semi-circle. Most performances were about wars, love, marrige, suffering and the children of famous Greeks.
  • Jan 1, 802

    Plays in Ancient Greece (BC)

    Plays in Ancient Greece (BC)
    At harvest time, everybody would be relaxed and hold festivals. Plays were a signififcant part of these performances. Actors would dress up as Satyrs - half goat and half man. Performers would poke fun at each other and act out silly plays. In time, drama changed to show lives of real people. Scenery was introduced and the plays began to look more realistic.
  • Jan 1, 820

    Drama in Ancient Rome (BC)

    Drama in Ancient Rome (BC)
    Roman drama was strongly influenced by Greeks, however there were some differences. The actors in Rome were usually slaved whereas they were free men in Greece. The Romans built huge theatres including the Colloseum. In these theatres, the focus of entertainement was sport. This included battles of gladiators, circus acrobatics and slaves were made to fight animals. Soon it became more popular than the real theatre. To bring people back towards it, some changes were made.
  • Jan 1, 821

    Drama in Ancient Rome

    Drama in Ancient Rome
    These modifications included the first stage curtains, lavish decorations, awnings to provide shade and on hot days the audience would be sprayed with perfumed water. However, these hcanges came too late. Serious writers had turned their backs on theatre. Actors became outrageous and lost respect. Eventually, plays were banned altogether. It would take centuries for drama to become popular again.
  • Jan 1, 840

    Theatre in the Medieval Period

    Theatre in the Medieval Period
    Medieval drama contained numerous religious plays. At the time, religion was a major part of life. However, many could not understand the church service or read the Bible as it was in Latin. Watching religious plays would help people understand more about their religion. The priest wanted to spread the message of Christianity to as many people as possible. Thus, people began to perform religious plays. These included Noah and the flood, David and Goliath and the Life of Jesus.
  • Jan 1, 841

    Theatre in the Medieval Period

    Theatre in the Medieval Period
    The religious plays contained events from both the Old Testament and the New Testanment. In England, plays about the Bible were called 'Mystery Plays'. Sometimes these performances took place in small wagons. Several wagons would parade around town, carrying a few actors. They would perform their part and then move on to the next audience.
  • Jan 1, 842

    Theatre in Medieval Period

    Theatre in Medieval Period
    During Thanksgiving (Corprus Christi) performances would go on for two to three days. The actors could be local workers and not necessarily professionals. At this time, men acted all the parts. The plays would be based on a moral and concentrated on showing people's virtues. Later on, interludes were written. Interludes were funny and were ususally performed on feasts.
  • Jan 1, 860

    Renaissance Drama in England

    Renaissance Drama in England
    This sort of drama appealed to every level of society. It was a rich blend of serious and light-hearted entertainment. These performances lasted from about the fifteenth to sixteenth century. The word Renaissance means 'rebirth'. In this time, society was 'reborn' with new ideas and learning ambitions.
  • Jan 1, 861

    Renaissance Drama in England

    Renaissance Drama in England
    In those days, most plays were performed by groups of professional men. Each group had a patron who looked after the actors and payed their wages. At the time, women were still not allowed to act so female roles were played by boys. This was the time when England's most famous dramatist lived - Shakespeare. William Shakespeare started writing plays in 1590, at the age of 26. He wrote about 38 plays in his lifetime.
  • Jan 1, 862

    Renaissance Drama in England

    Renaissance Drama in England
    Shakespeare's comapany was called the 'King's Men'. Shakespearean plays were performed in specially built theatres. One of the most famous theatres is the Glob Theatre. The Globe Theatre was an octagonal building. The area just in front of the stage was called the 'pit'. This was where the poorest people would stand and watch. Around the pit there were three galleries, rising one above the other. The upperomost gallery had a thatched roof to provide shade.
  • Jan 1, 863

    Renaissance Drama in England

    Renaissance Drama in England
    Unfortuantely, in 1613, the roof caught fire and within an hour, the building burnt to the ground. The following year, it was rebuilt with a tiled roof instead of a thatched roof. At the time, not much scenery was used. However, wigs and costumes were worn. Theatre was beginning to thrive until the civil war. In 1642, dramatic theatre was banned. All theatres were closed until 18 years later, when a new king took the throne.
  • Jan 1, 864

    Rennaisance Drama in England

    Rennaisance Drama in England
    Scenery became widely used and special effects began to appear. The largest change was the women were now allowed to appear on stage.
  • Jan 1, 880

    To Modern Times

    To Modern Times
    Over the next few decades, theatre continued to grow. It was a source of entertainment and wisdom. Technical effects and lighting became more advanced. Drama has developed to such a point where some actors become famous. Drama has connected people for centuries until now, giving us the entertaining performances we have today.