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A Short Introduction to the Ancient Greek Theater
by Graham Ley
University of Chicago Press, 1991
Paper: 978-0-226-47760-2 | Cloth: 978-0-226-47759-6
Library of Congress Classification PA3201.L47 1991
Dewey Decimal Classification 792.0938

Contemporary productions on stage and film, and the development of theater studies, have created a new audience for ancient Greek drama. This volume fills the need for a clear, concise statement of what is known about the original conditions of production for tragedy, comedy, and satyr play in the age of Pericles and provides observations on all aspects of performance.

Reexamining the surviving plays of the tragic writers Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides and of the comedian Aristophanes, Graham Ley discusses the actor's technique, the power and range of the chorus, the use of theatrical space, and parody in the plays. A series of diagrams relates the theater to the city and political life of ancient Athens, and photographic illustrations of scenes from Greek vases document the visualization of theatrical performance.

An ideal companion to The Complete Greek Tragedies (University of Chicago Press), Ley's work is a valuable user's guide to the critical assessment of modern translations and adaptations of tragedy and comedy. It is designed for all students of Greek drama with an interest in performance, and for theatrical practitioners who require a concise but informative introduction to one of the great periods of world drama.

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