I had decided to blog about the history of ‘theatrical superstitions’ this week, the ones that most people have heard of, not whistling in a dressing room, not saying ‘Macbeth’ in the theatre etc., but little did I know the weird and wonderful world I was going to delve into. It turns out there are many more superstitions I hadn’t heard of that quite frankly made me laugh.
On 1st November 2009 I formed The Green Room Productions. Our first play was The Collector, based on the book by John Fowles and set in Lewes. It was a two-hander starring Tim Bond and Leah Mooney. Leah is still an integral, and founding, member of the company - these days you will find her in our tech box, lighting our productions.
My first task was to find us a venue. The (then) Headmaster of Willingdon Community School along with the drama teacher very kindly allowed us to use their school drama studio to perform and rehearse in. We cannot thank their staff enough for the support and generosity they gave us in those early days, which enabled the company to grow and flourish.
Theatre was invented in Greece, and so naturally there are many theatre-related words that find their origins in Greek. Our blog today looks at 6 of these words and where they began.
Greek Word: theasthai
Greek Meaning: to behold
The Greek theatres were large, open-air structures constructed on the slopes of hills. They consisted of three principal elements: the orchestra, the skene, and the audience. Behind the orchestra was a large rectangular building called the skene (meaning "tent" or "hut"). The skene was literally a tent or hut, put up for the religious festival and taken down when it was finished. Later, the skene became a permanent stone structure. These structures were sometimes painted to serve as backdrops, hence the English word scenery.