The answer to this question comes in two parts.
First there is no doubt that visiting the sites of Greek theatres at locations such as Thorikos, Argos, Epidavros and the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens gives a deep understanding of the environments in which the works of Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes were performed.
Indeed, for students to stand in the Theatre of Dionysus and know that these dramatists competed here is a truly moving experience in its own right.
What’s more, each theatre shows the reality of what the students will have learned. For example, at Epidavros the true impact of the view onto the landscape behind the skene becomes at once apparent.
And every student will want to see firsthand whether the famed acoustics are as extraordinary as they are reputed to be.
But that is not all, for by attending an imaginative and engaging workshop in these environments the students’ in-depth knowledge and understanding of the plays is hugely enhanced.
The topics explored in this workshop include Greek chorus, ensemble skills, an introduction to mask work, and text exploration.
Typically such a workshop will start with a vocal and physical group warm up which will then be followed by a short discussion on the origins of Greek theatre and how it has influenced the theatre that is seen today.
Students will also discover how actors learn to speak and move as one in the chorus, using a Greek play text as the basis for the exploration.
Greek theatre masks are then added to the group, as the students discover why masks were so important to Greek theatre.
From here on the work continues as the students break into smaller groups to work on Greek text, before the full group reassembles to discuss and show what has been learned during the session.
During such a visit no opportunity is lost in developing the students’ understanding of the origins of Greek drama as with, for example, an evening meal taken below the Temple of Poseidon.
Likewise students can visit nearby museums, such as that at Maroussi, and take in a performance of the Karagiozis Shadow Puppet Theatre as well as an evening performance of traditional Greek Dancing.
Hellene Travel will work with you to create the itinerary you want, and you can see a typical school drama visit to Athens by clicking here.
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