The origins of Greek drama are associated with Dionysus, the god of wine, revelry and inspiration. To celebrate the grape harvest, men and women would dance and sing around and altar, with the best dancers being awarded a goat, sacred to the god.
The word ‘tragedy’ derives from the ancient Greek for ‘to see’. Over the years, poets recorded the songs of the chorus and added their own interpretations.
The first recorded play was in 534 BC, with actors taking roles and speaking specific lines. As the art developed the actors, who were all men, wore expressive masks to indicate the age, sex and feelings of the characters. A crane-like device called a mechane was used to lower actor ‘gods’onto the sage – the first special effects in history)!
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