Drama Project 1 resources include information sheets on ancient Greek theatres (design and development), the Greek god Dionysus and Greek Tragedy.
Drama Project 1 Mythical theatre (Key Stages 1 and 2) Aims of the lesson: To develop an understanding of ancient Greek and Roman theatre traditions, and understand how drama was linked to ancient Greek gods and heroes. Activity: Ancient Greeks from the 5th century BC onwards were fascinated by the question of the origins of tragedy and comedy - and these ancient peoples often honoured their mythical gods and goddesses through plays. One of the greatest theatres to be built by the ancient Greeks is believed to be the theatre of Dionysus. Dionysus was the patron god of Greek stage. It was here that every year Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes (famous ancient Greek writers) performed their plays during the festival of Dionysus, given by the city. The theatre was rebuilt by the Athenian statesman Lykourgo, in 342- 326 BC, from stone and in later years by the ancient Romans. The Drama Project 1 resources file includes an information sheet on the Greek god Dionysus. Many gods and heroes feature in ancient Greek plays. Hercules featured in plays written by Sophocles, Euripides, and Seneca. Sophocles also wrote about Philoctetes, a legendary hero who played a decisive part in the final stages of the Trojan War. One of the most popular types of drama written and enjoyed by the ancient Greeks was called 'tragedy'. This is a play in which a central character (called a tragic protagonist or hero) suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected with the hero's actions. Greek tragedy stresses the vulnerability of human beings, whose suffering is brought on by a combination of human and divine actions, but is generally undeserved with regard to its harshness. The Drama Project 1 file offers an information sheet on Greek tragedy. One of the most distinguishing features of ancient Greek drama was the use of mask. Only men
could be actors, which meant that they had to take one multiple parts. To help the audience relate to the characters and not get confused by the same faces popping up all the time, masks were essential to the success of a production. Ancient Greek dramatic masks have become synonymous with modern-day drama with many film academies adopting the masks as part of their logo. A representation of two Greek masks can be found in Drama Project 1, that the pupils may wish to use for inspiration. One mask (with a smiling face) represents comedy, whilst the other mask (with a sad face) represents tragedy. After discussing ancient Greek drama with the pupils, explain that they are going to make their own masks for a Greek drama. The masks can represent any god, goddess or monster that they prefer. Extension: Greek tragedies and comedies were always performed in outdoor theatres. The Drama Project 1 folder includes an information sheet on how ancient Greek theatres were designed. Review this information with the pupils, and then ask them to create their own mini Greek theatre.
DRAMA Project Plans MYTHS AND LEGENDS