|Publisher||British Museum Press|
|Publication Date||February 27, 1995|
Classical Greek theatre survives not only in plays that we still read and perform, but also in artistic images. Depictions of performances, actors, and their masks were frequent in classical times and continued to appear even beyond the fifth and sixth centuries A.D., long after the plays had ceased to be staged. These artifacts, together with the remains of actual theatres and the texts of surviving plays, give us an idea of how Greek drama must have appeared in its heyday. In this book, Richard Green and Eric Handley outline the history of the Greek theatre, drawing on the evidence supplied by the theatres themselves, the surviving plays, and artistic artifacts. They show and discuss painted pottery, notably from fifth-century Athens and fourth-century southern Italy, that records scenes from plays. Terra-cotta figures, mosaics, paintings, metalware, and gems also help them build a picture of Greek theatre. All these artifacts tell the story of Greek drama as seen through the eyes of those admirers who kept its classic moments and traditions alive and who found a place for it in the society of their own times. They help the modern playgoer and reader to imagine what a visit to the theatre in classical Greece might have been like.