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Photographer's Note

Ancient Greek theatre was a theatrical culture that flourished in ancient Greece from 700 BC. The city-state of Athens, which became a significant cultural, political, and religious place during this period, was its centre, where the theatre was institutionalised as part of a festival called the Dionysia, which honoured the god Dionysus. Tragedy (late 500 BC), comedy (490 BC), and the satyr play were the three dramatic genres to emerge there. Athens exported the festival to its numerous colonies. Modern Western theatre comes, in large measure, from the theatre of ancient Greece, from which it borrows technical terminology, classification into genres, and many of its themes, stock characters, and plot elements.

I have seen quite many ruins of Greek theatres - in Athens, Delphi, also in Pergamon in Turkey and in
Sicily. I am always fascinated by the construction and the acoustic quality.

The ancient theatre of Epidaurus was designed by Polykleitos the Younger in the 4th century BC. The original 34 rows were extended in Roman times by another 21 rows. As is usual for Greek theatres (and as opposed to Roman ones), the view on a lush landscape behind the skęnę is an integral part of the theatre itself and is not to be obscured. It seats up to 14,000 people.

The theatre has long had a reputation for its exceptional acoustics, which reportedly allowed almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken words from the proscenium or skēnē to all 14,000 spectators, regardless of their seating. The acoustic properties are caused both by the physical shape, but also the construction material: the rows of limestone seats filter out low-frequency sounds, such as the murmur of the crowd, and also amplify the high-frequency sounds of the stage.
Two other views in Workshops. All better seen in the large format.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13204 W: 141 N: 34275] (155536)
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