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  • University Challenge -The Beginning of Theatre

    by Samuel Black, Charley Alsop-Parry and

    Connor Stoddart

  • Greek

  • Roman

  • Street Theatre

  • Circus

  • HND(RC)the things we found interesting

  • greek amphitheatres Epidaurus

    Semi circular Amphitheater - 340 Bc

    Possibly one of the greatest amphitheaters in Greece the Theater at Epidaurus on the Peloponnese in Greece, the ancient mystery surrounding the great acoustics has been solved. Its all to do with the seats researchers and the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered that is is the limestone, it provides a filtering effect, suppressing low frequencies of voices, therefore it minimizes background noise. The limestone seats reflect high-frequencies back towards the audience. They researchers originally suspected that it was to do with the slope of the theater, but after further development into the research undergoing experiments with ultrasonic waves and numerical models indicated that frequencies up to 500 hertz where lowered, and frequencies higher then 500 hertz went unheard of.

  • Acoustic trapsThe corrugations on the seats act as a natural acoustic trap. Though this effect would seem to also remove the low frequencies from the actors voices, listeners actually fill in the missing portion of the audio spectrum through something known as virtual pitch. The human brain reconstructs the missing frequencies, producing the virtual pitch phenomenon, for example when youre listening to someone speaking on a telephone with a weak signal.

    Incredibly the Greek builders of the theater did not themselves understand the principles that led to the exceptional sound created from the stage. There have been many attempts to recreate the Epidaurus, but they have never quite matched the original design. In some recreations of the theatre they have used different materials, such as wood for the benches, this is an approach which may have ultimately derailed the design duplication effort.

    more about the placeEpidaurus was a small city in ancient Greece, at the Saronic Gulf. Epidaurus wasnt independent of Argos and was not included in Argolis until the time of the romans. With its supporting territory, it formed the small territory called Epidauria. It was widely known to be founded by or named for the Argolid Epidaurus, and to be the birthplace of Apollos son Asclepius the healer, Epidaurus was known for its sanctuary situated about five miles from the town, aswell as its theater, which is once again in use today.

  • Roman Amphitheatres the Colosseum

    Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheater) - Elliptical Amphitheater - 80 AD

    Situated in the centre of Rome in Italy. Built of concrete and stone, it is the largest amphitheater in the world, and is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering. Construction started in 70 AD and was finished in 80 AD, but further modifications were mad during the reign of Domitian (81-96 AD). These three emperors are known as the Flavian Dynasty, and the amphitheater was named in Latin for its association with her family name (Flavius). The colosseum was estimated to be able to hold between 50,000-80,000 spectators, and was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.

    what its used for today

    They now do a lot of tours around the Colosseum where they speak about all of the gladiator fights that happened there, they also mention about the sand that was used to soak up the blood from the fights, which was a lot of the time a fight to the death.

  • performing insideThe arena itself was 83 meters by 48 meters. It comprised a wooden floor covered by sand (the Latin word for sane is arena) covering an elaborate underground structure called the hypogeum (underground). Little now remains of the original arena floor, but the hypogeum is still clearly visible. The Roman Gladiators were usually slaves, prisoners of war or condemned criminals. Most were men, but there were a few female gladiators. These combats were attended by the poor, the rich, and frequently the emperor himself. As gladiators fought, vicious cries and curses were heard from the audience around the Roman Colosseum. One contest after another was staged in the course of a single day. Should the ground become too soaked with blood, it was covered with a fresh layer of sand and the performance went on. The games continued until Christianity progressively put an end to those parts of them which included the death of humans. This was used mainly for entertainment but also instead of prisons they were able to use this as a way of killing off all of the bad people they had in society.

  • circus Cirque de soleil

    When thinking of circus, the first thing that comes to mind is Cirque de Soleil, that is what you call Circus I saw them about 7 years ago in Florida and it is truly incredible, the spectacle they have, and the precision of moves is outstanding. From a personal experience watching Circus such as this going from little performances on the streets of London, it is very different due to the place in which they are performing, but also I feel as though the training that the performers do on the streets will be very different from the training that a circus performer has done to get into the Cirque du Soleil company.

    Cirque de Soleil (Circus of the Sun) is a Canadian entertainment company. It is the largest theatrical producer in the world, it was founded in 1984 by two former street performers Guy Lalibert and Gilles Ste-Croix. They both recognised the talents of the buskers from the Fte foreign de Baie-saint-paul which is where it all began. The company consists of 5020 people, that ranges from the performers all the way to the people looking after the finance to the choreographers, it is such a vast growing company. Cirque de Soleil was originally set up as a one year project. However, the government of Quebec wanted a touring event that would perform in other provinces.

    There company was initially named Les chassiers (The Waders), they toured Quebec in 1980 as a performing troupe. Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil was a success in 1984, and recently after Lalibert hired Guy Caron from the National Circus School to re-create it as a proper circus. This relates back to my point of street circus being very different to the circus that you see in arenas, as Lalibert and Ste-Croix both realised that what they were doing wasnt proper circus as they got a professional to help them out. Its theatrical, character-driven approach and the absence of performing animals helped define Cirque du Soleil as the contemporary circus that it remains today.

  • Guy LalibertA Canadian entrepreneur, philanthropist, poker players, space tourist, co-founder and the current CEO of Cirque de Soleil. A very busy man it would seem, he was born in 1959 in Quebec. His interest in show business began at a relatively young age. While he was still in school, Guy produced several performing arts events that attracted everyone to come and support him. After school, he entered the world of street performance, playing the harmonica and accordion on the streets of Quebec. He then went on to join a performing troupe called Les chassiers, which included fire-breathers, jugglers, and acrobats who hitched around the country from show to show. He later returned to Quebec trying to get a steady full-time job but soon after his employment began, the company's employees went on strike. He took the opportunity to return to his life as a street performer. Guy came up with the name Cirque de Soleil when he was in Hawaii, it reflects his notion that the sun stands for energy and youth and that the circus is about those two words. It is said that Lalibert is the father and Ste-Croix is the grandfather of Cirque de Soleil.

    Since 1984, Lalibert has participated in the creation of every Cirque de Soleil show. As well as being the founder of cirque de Soleil he finished fourth in the World Poker Tour and won $696,220. In 2011 Lalibert announced the Big One, a $1 million dolar buy-in tournament which was featured and the 2012 World Poker Series. Part of the prize pool was donated to his philanthropic organisation One Drop Foundation. The tournament raised $5,333,328 for One Drop foundation.

    He announced the official launch of One Drop Foundation in October 2007 to fight poverty in the world by giving everyone access to water. Cirque du Monde, inspired by Cirque de Soleil, makes use of circus acts, folklore, popular theatre, music, dance and the visual arts to promote education.

  • Gilles ste-croixWhen he first told his parents he wanted to go into show business they said Anything but that! Ste-Croix grew up in rural Quebec, but was determined not to stay there. He became a hippie, living in communes and making the obligatory 60s pilgrimage to the West Coast where he lived in communes and audited some drama classes. Ste-Croix did they to conform, even working in an architects office for a while, but he knew in his heart that he wasnt cut out for conventional business career. He says that from his teens he always had a strong drive to succeed and an equally strong desire to entertain. However is entrance into show business came about in a most unusual and unpredictable way.

    In the late 1970s Ste-Croix was living in a commune in Victoriaville, picking apples to make money. One day he thought that the job would be a whole lot easier if he