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Masks in 19th Century? (1 Viewer)

theatrelover

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Did you know that during Ancient Greek theatre, actors wore masks the entire play? They did this for multiple reasons. The giant exaggerated faces on the masks allowed the audience sitting in the further away seats to be able to see them. It also allowed the male actors to have female faces when playing female roles. Yes, you heard that right. Men played women's roles because women were viewed as dangerous on the stage. SMH. Well, that is another story. Lastly, going back to the big arenas in Greek theatre was performed in, the audience to hear them, there were tiny microphones that projected their voices to be heard by everyone. Interesting, right? I remember learning this in high school theatre and thought it was cool to share. Any thoughts on this?
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Did you know that during Ancient Greek theatre, actors wore masks the entire play? They did this for multiple reasons. The giant exaggerated faces on the masks allowed the audience sitting in the further away seats to be able to see them.

Well, that makes sense... and not at all surprising. Exaggerations (of various forms and degrees) continued to be used throughout the entire history of performance arts (and arts in general) across various cultures AFAIK... and still used today.

It also allowed the male actors to have female faces when playing female roles. Yes, you heard that right. Men played women's roles because women were viewed as dangerous on the stage. SMH. Well, that is another story.

That too isn't surprising at all and applied across various/most cultures throughout history... though the exact rationale and how long each lasted might be different -- and I'm not sure if you're exaggerating or skewing the truth a bit either re: the ancient Greek, but anyhoo...

Certainly, for instance, women were generally not allowed (nor trained) to perform in Chinese opera well into the mid-1900's (and probably even later) AFAIK -- yes, men performed all the high voice "soprano" roles of female characters.

Lastly, going back to the big arenas in Greek theatre was performed in, the audience to hear them, there were tiny microphones that projected their voices to be heard by everyone. Interesting, right? I remember learning this in high school theatre and thought it was cool to share. Any thoughts on this?

Microphones? Maybe more details or some pics would help.

And welcome to HTF...

_Man_
 

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