Play on!

Epidauros (III)Creative Commons License

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World via Compfight

Have you ever seen or acted in a play? When I was in second grade I had the role of the narrator in a classroom production, the title of which escapes me now.  Ten years later, as a senior in high school, my class took to the stage in the musical My Fair Lady.  I played a maid with one line.  Singing was not my forte.  After I graduated college I spent a summer studying at Cambridge University in England; while there I had a number of opportunities to see plays in both London and in Stratford-upon-Avon.  I remember seeing The TempestCats, Phantom of the Opera, and The Starlight Express.  

Since then, I have had many opportunities to watch amateur and professional plays at our own Venice Theater.  I love watching A Christmas Carol every December, and one of my favorite shows ever was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat performed by Epiphany middle schoolers.  I saw that show three times in three days and gave it a standing ovation every time.

Epidauros (VI)InCreative Commons Licensestitute for the Study of the Ancient World via Compfight

The Ancient Greeks were no different than we are with our modern day fascination with acting, Broadway, Hollywood, and awards shows.  They held a three day drama festival in Athens each year dedicated to Dionysus, the god of the theater and of wine.  During those three days, three playwrights presented three plays, and the playwright with the best play received a prize.

Take a trip to Ancient Greece and the City Dionysia via the BBC  and The British Museum.  Explore the orchestra and the teatron, watch the actors in their masks, climb the Parthenon, and vote for the play you like best.  Perhaps Sophocles will win again!

After visiting the sites for awhile, leave a note for future explorers as a comment below.  Have fun!

Epidaurus Theater Randy Durrum via Compfight




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8 thoughts on “Play on!

  1. So great to see that you are pack online and working again this year. We can’t wait to see what you are going to come up with and look forward to seeing your work this year!
    Mr Webb and Room Three, Auroa Primary School, Taranaki, New Zealand

    • Hello Mr. Webb and Room Three! We are delighted to correspond with you again this year. I am at a new school, and I know my students will be thrilled to see a comment from New Zealand! We will look again to find Taranaki on the map. Because I am at a much larger school, I know that I will have to change the way we blog a little bit. I have worked with about 60 students on the blog; I now have 140 students. So, like you, I also can’t wait to see what we come up with!
      What are your blogging plans this year? We’ll stop by on Monday while we are in school to visit and leave another comment.
      Thanks for checking in! We are looking forward to a good year and are glad that you will be a part of it.
      Mrs. Donofrio and her new kids!

  2. I really enjoyed this unit in class, I loved learning about all the different parts of the Greek theater and how it all came together when they did a play. When we talked about this I learned that there was a chorus involved and I never knew anything about that, so I’m extremely happy to have learned what all happened when plays were first invented and how we still use some of this stuff in todays world. 🙂

    • Hey Bryanna,
      I’m so glad that you enjoyed this unit. I am also so glad that you took time to comment on the blog! Extra Credit for you! Yahoo! Like you, I find it interesting that much of what we experience in the modern day theater originated thousands of years ago and thousands of miles away. I think it proves that although times and technologies have changed, people really haven’t. The human experience and all the emotions that go with it is largely unchanged throughout history and geography. To me, that’s a good thing.
      Do you ever go to the theater now? Have you seen any performances at Venice Little Theater?
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  3. Dear Beth,
    I really like your intriguing introduction and your banner is really cool! I connected with you when you said you loved watching the play a Christmas Carol every year. I connected by on my father’s side I am a distant descendant of Charles Dickens, the writer of the book.
    As well, I think it is amazing for you to have seen plays in the Venice Theater! I am interested very much not only in acting, but the writing of a play, poem, or any writing.
    Yours Truly,

    • Hello Autumn!
      Thank you so much for coming by to visit our blog. I am astounded to have some contact with a descendant of Charles Dickens! Amazing and wonderful! Have you read many of Dickens’ books? One of my favorite is Bleak House. I read it in college, and even though it is such a long book, I clearly remember the excitement I felt in class when I found some sort of “hidden” connection between characters. Dickens was a master at keeping so many characters straight!
      Do you go to the theater often?
      I will make sure to visit your class blog by week’s end!
      Mrs. Donofrio

      • Dear Mrs. Donofrino,
        I haven’t read any of Dickens’ books yet, I am only in seventh grade. But I know a lot of history and when I saw your post saying that you loved seeing his play at Chrismas, and i remembered that my dad was a descendant of him. But I think where my love of writing and the fact I am good with paper and a pen.
        I have never visited Venice Theater, although I think it would be cool to see a play performed there. Where is the Venice theater?
        Thank you so much,
        Autumn’s blog
        Huzzah! Our class blog

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