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THEATER ARCHITECTURE

 

Research By Amir Mohammad Baharvand.
  

 

       Theater History 

 First permanent Roman theater- Theatre of Pompey 55BC

 Many theater architectural influences came from the Greeks 

 Theaters could be found all over the Roman Empire

  The Romans influence in architecture can be found all over the world

Theaters were used to host performances such as plays, pantomimes, choral events, and orati

 

Parts of the Theater

  

 Scaenae- the front part of the theater where behind the scene stuff and the stage are located

 Built on a podium that raised it above the orchestra

  

 

Orchestra- a surface where the chorus would stand 

 Placed between the scaenae and the cave

 

 

Cavea- area for public viewers of the performance 

Divided into three horizontal high areas, one for each social class

 

 

Theatre Structure

  

Scaenae  

 Proscaenium- the space for actors to perfo 

 Pulpitum- part near the orchestra (often elevated and covered in wood)

 Hiposcaenium- hidden space for decoration and machines 

 Frons Pulpiti- a façade (orchestra level)

 

 Three different designs: Straight plan, plan with a central exedra, and plan with three exedrae 

 Scaenae Frons- decretive and spectacular wall that limited the proscaenium

Three doors: center one was the valva regia, and two at both sides called valva hospitalarium 

 Postcaenium- rooms behind scaenae frons 

 Parascaenium- rooms on the sides of the scaenae frons 

 Porticus postscenium- background of the scene

 

         Orchestra

 Poedria- curved area surrounded by rows for VIP seating 

 Aditus- big vaulted lateral walls where the VIP came in through 

 Tribunal- name for the VIP 

 Frons Pulpiti- the front of the scaenae’s podium 

 Made up of exedrae and decorated niches with pillar

 

Cavea

 Divided into three parts- ima cavea, media cavea, and summa cavea

 Ima Cavea- lower zone, closest to the scene, for high society people.

Had the most amount of rows so that the people had a lot of room in a row

Mostly men sat here but some aristocratic women were aloud 

Media Cavea- open for all people located behind the ima cavea

Reserved for men 

Summa Cavea- upper zone built for women and small children

Not all theaters had this par

 

Cavea Cont 

Scalaria- stairs leading to different terraces 

Praecinctia- walls dividing the areas of the Cavea 

Vomitorium- doors and walls to the rows 

Cunei- dividers for the rows

  

        Roman Influences on Theaters Today 

The roman theater architecture and structure have influenced theater throughout history 

The Elizabethan period adapted much from the Romans 

Semi-circular seating and stage structure 

Because of the Romans' ability to influence local architecture, numerous theatres around the world have unique Roman attributes 

 

Ancient European Theaters
 

 

            Greco-Roman Theatre

   

This theater was  built by the Greeks in the 2nd century BC and was later renovated and expanded by the Romans

Today it is the center of the Taormina’s international film festival

 

Jerash Theatres

                                        

This theater is located in Jordan

This is the south large theater of Jerash

Holds 3000 people

    Was built in between 90-92 AD
 

      Roman Theatre of Merida 

                                       

Built in 16 BC by order of Agrippa, a general and friend of emperor Augustus 

Holds up to 6000 spectators

Located in Merida -Spain

 

       Roman Theatre of Amman 

 

Built during the reign of Marcus Aurelius in the 2nd century AD

Seats about 6,000 people

The theatre was built on three tiers: the rulers, sat closest to the stage, the

military had the middle section, and the general public sat on the highest section

Due to the steepness all teirs could hear the actors perfectly

 

Theatre of Side

  

In 25 BC Side became part of the Roman province Galatia and built this theater

This ancient theatre can seat about

15,000 to 20,000 people

 

Theatre of Sabratha

  

Located in Libya, under Roman

Built in the 2nd century AD

The structure appears largely intact because of its reconstruction by

Italian archaeologists in the 1930s

The theatre had 25 entrances and could seat approximately 5,000 spectators

 

Roman Theatre of Orange

  

Well preserved theatre built in the 1st century AD

After the Roman Empire declined the theatre was closed

The ancient theatre was restored in the 19th century

Today it is home of the summer opera festival, the Chorégies d’Orange

 

Great Theatre of Ephesus

 

Capable of holding 25,000 spectators,

was used initially for drama, but during later Roman times it was also used for gladiator fights

Ephesus is located on the west coast of Turkey

  

Aspendos Theatre 

 

One of the best preserved ancient theatres.

Built in 155 AD during the rule of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Seats between

15,000 and 20,000 spectators

Has been able to survive to this days without losing almost any of its original qualities

   

Bosra

  

The city was conquered by the Romans in 106 AD

Built in the 2nd century AD

seats up to 15,000 people

Because a fortress was built around the theatre by the Ayyubids it is now one of the best preserved Roman theatres in the world

 

Theatre of Pompey

  

First permanent theater in ancient Rome

Took 7 years to build. 61 BC- 55 BC

Considered to have been the largest theatre ever built in ancient or modern times

It was the first to be entirely built as a free-standing stone structure without earthen works

 

      The Theater of Dionysus 

 

World's first theater built of stone

Birthplace of Greek tragedy

This is where the dramatic contests in the Greater Dionysia were held

Could seat 17,000 spectato 

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