Stage, Theatre of Ephesos

Stage, Theatre of Ephesos

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Stage, Theatre of Ephesos - History

The focal point of Ephesus is the great theatre, the largest in Asia Minor, with a seating capacity of 24,000.İt dates from the early Hellenistic period, with extensive additions and reconstructions in the imperial Roman era. The auditorium extends through an angle of 220 Degrees and has a diameter of 154 meters, with a vertical rise of 38 meters from its orchestra to the uppermost tier of seats, whose middle section is still surmounted by an arcade. Two diazomata divide the auditorium into three section, the first of which have twelve radial stairways and the third twenty four. The diameter of the orchestra, which is slightly larger than a semicircle, is about 34 meters.

The actors in ancient Greek drama originally performed alongside the chorus in the orchestra later in the Hellenistic period, they acted on a raised stage, the proscenium, which was erected in front of the Skene, the stage building. The core of the Hellenistic Skene in the Ephesus theater remains Within the monumental stage building erected in the Imperial Roman era. This grandiose structure originally had three stories, with colonnaded frontals alternating with statues and relief's set in niches in front of it was the broad stage, raised high above the level of the orchestra on three rows of Doric columns, whose stumps remain in place.

A Crash-Course in American Stage Management History

The Martydom of St. Apollonia by Jean Fouquet. A Late 1400’s Painting that featured, on the right hand-side of the painting, a monk (prompter) feeding lines and actions to the "actors" onstage.

Before the second Industrial Revolution in the late nineteenth century, the prompter performed the duties commonly associated with the contemporary stage manager. Why do I say that? Because the prompter notated all blocking movements in the promptbook along with any special effect cues, scenic changes, and call boy cues. The promptbook served as a collection of paperwork that represented a production. Sound familiar? It stands to reason, that the historical bearer of such a book would be the predecessor to today&rsquos SM.

William John Lawrence argues in Old Theatre Days and Ways that the position of the prompter dates to the 15 th century, using Jean Fouquet&rsquos late 1400&rsquos painting The Martydom of St. Apollonia to illustrate his point (please see photo). At the time, only the extremely wealthy and clergy could read and/or write, which meant someone needed to explain the text on the page to the performers. He notes that on the right hand-side of the painting, a monk stands, feeding lines and actions to the actors onstage, arguably performing the prompter&rsquos role for the production. In his book, he also remarks that the oldest known prompt-book still in existence is Le Mystère de la Passion from a staging of the play in 1501 C.E. at Mons.

In 1576, the first playhouse was built in London, shifting theater from a recreational or religious pastime to a professional event. At that time, theater companies performed a different show every night. Continuous runs (meaning same production night after night) began in the late 1800&rsquos, and only for as long as people bought tickets. Because of this, the actors always had at least 30 plays roughly memorized and relied heavily on the prompter in performance. Compared to today, there was little design work, as set and props were taken from storage every night, and costumes were provided by the actors. Keep in mind that electricity hasn&rsquot been invented, so lighting is primarily daylight or candlelight, (neither of which can dim!), and was eventually extended to include oil lamps (late 1700&rsquos), gas lamps (early 1800&rsquos) and calcium lamps (mid 1830&rsquos, also known as limelight), which could be manipulated manually, but only a little. For an overview on the history of theater and design, I recommend reading an introduction to theater history textbook, for example the Brockett and Hildy version which focuses on the history of theater and stage craft.

The prompter recorded everything into the promptbook, set the stage, and called the show using flags, whistles, and eventually bells. (Consider the opening credits of Downton Abbey where there is a snapshot of the servant bells in a row. However, in a theatrical setting, the bell pulls were in the prompter&rsquos box, and the bells were dispersed throughout the theater). At various points and in different locations, the prompter was also known as the Ordinary, Bookholder, Conveyour, Régisseur, or Souffler. Diaries and ledgers from eighteen and nineteenth century theater companies demonstrate the records kept by their prompters. Prompters used these journals to record overtime, payment, benefit performance information, a complete list of plays performed in a season, and the list of actors employed. Interestingly, the prompter also recorded a primitive rehearsal and performance report each day, recording who was absent, who went on, and any notable events that occurred during the performance. For more information about the early modern rehearsal and acting process, I recommend Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan by Tiffany Stern.

So, if that was the prompter, what did the stage manager do? Before 1870, the stage manager performed the role of what we would consider the &ldquoDirector,&rdquo and dates back to Shakespeare&rsquos time. The term &ldquostage manager&rdquo was interchangeable with the term &ldquoActor-Manager.&rdquo For simplicities sake, I will use &ldquoActor-Manager&rdquo when referring to the person historically called the stage manager. The actor-manager oversaw casting, decided on entrances/exits and important blocking (which was minimal, as it was mostly systematic gestures and actor motivated). They chose the scenery and props from storage, and overall managed everything onstage. The actor-manager, as the term implies, also acted in the performance.

So, what changed in American Theater between 1870 and 1930? How did the director take over the stage manager&rsquos role, how did the stage manager take over the prompter, and where, oh where, did the prompter go? It is precisely these answers which I hope to uncover during my dissertation research and writing process. The good news is: I already have a few theories on the how&rsquos and why&rsquos.

[Be sure to come back next week for Part II of A Crash-Course in American Stage Management History where we learn more about directors entering the picture and the beginnings of stage managers as we know them today.]

Touring Ancient Ephesus

Ancient Ephesus lies in a valley between two hills. This valley slopes toward the sea. Therefore, tours of the city tend to start at the eastern end and work toward the west, which means tourists can walk downhill rather than up. This is helpful in the summer especially, when the temperatures can be quite steamy. When we were in Ephesus in 2007, the thermometer was well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is almost no shade available among the ruins. It was cooler in 2011, with temperatures in the low 90s. In the photo to the right, you can see Ephesus nestled between the hills. To the left, you can see the seats of the theatre. The white buildings are the place where many ancient houses are currently being excavated. The tour begins in the middle of the saddle.

Near the eastern entrance to ancient Ephesus you&rsquoll find plenty of vendors, some of them literally sticking their wares into your face, only a couple of inches from your nose. You can buy clothing, hats (recommended for the tour if it&rsquos hot and sunny), soft drinks, and various souvenirs. Don&rsquot bother with the supposedly authentic old coins. They&rsquore neither authentic nor old. In this location you&rsquoll see one of my favorite signs in the world: Genuine Fake Watches. You&rsquove got to commend the vendors for their honesty. But this sign raises a question: What would fake fake watches be?

The beginning of the tour of Ephesus is relatively unimpressive. For the most part, you see dozens of stones, obviously part of ancient buildings. But you won&rsquot see any restored ruins, except in the distance. Almost all of what makes Ephesus so special lies out of view, down the slope of the valley.

Near the beginning of the tour there was a stack of what looked like pieces of terra cotta pipe. Indeed, these sections of pipe were once part of the elaborate fresh water system for Ephesus. The Romans, who were masters of moving water around, had built aqueducts that brought water to the city. Then large pipes, pieces of which you can see in the photo to the right, moved the water around to key locations of the city (the baths, fountains, men&rsquos toilet, etc.).

Tomorrow the tour continues.

Guide Book: Ephesus and Pergamon

In the Vision’s Ephesus and Pergamon guide book you will find the history and the architectural aspects of the monuments of Ephesus and Pergamon, together with many historical curiosities about the two cities of Ancient Greece. This is the english edition.

And you will find 14 amazing graphic reconstructions of the most fascinating monuments and temples of Ephesus and Pergamon, that you will be able to easily overlap to photos of their present states, visually comparing the Past and the Present.

The Ephesus and Pergamon guide book includes a CD / DVD Rom.

Author:Eugenia Equini Schneider, Full Professor of Roman Provinces Archaeology at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”.

Format: cm 19,5 x 14

Reconstructions: 14. Ephesus: Temple of Artemis, Agora, Temple of Domitian, Memmius Monument, Nymphaeum of Trajan, Hadrian’s Temple, Agora tetragonal (2), Celsus Library, the Theatre, the Arcadiane. Pergamon: Temple of Trajan, Altar of Zeus, Temple of Demeter.


Capital Stage was founded as the Delta King Theatre in 1999. At that time, the company was a division of the Riverboat Delta King, performing in the riverboat’s intimate, 115-seat theatre. In 2004, we became a professional, Equity company and in 2005, Capital Stage Company, became an independent, nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization, increasing our capacity to stage innovative and thought-provoking productions and to become a leader in the evolution of the performing arts in our region. In 2011, Cap Stage set to work on renovating the Old Armoury in Sacramento’s vibrant midtown district and made a bold move to our new home on J Street.

Capital Stage was formed out of a passionate belief that live theatre provides, as Oscar Wilde put it, “…the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” Our productions explore the human condition in relation to society and celebrate the participatory process of theatre as equal parts story, performer and live audience. We do this through the creation and interpretation of critically acclaimed plays, as well as bold new works, that engage the mind and soul. We produce fully mounted plays with professional actors perform lively staged readings partner with other nonprofits in our community offer educational and outreach programs and seek diversity among our artists and our productions.

In 2006, after only one year of producing as the newly formed Capital Stage, the critics of the Sacramento News & Review voted us the “Best Professional Theatre” in the greater Sacramento region. Since then, Capital Stage continues to receive praise for “…bringing an edgier, urban sophistication to professional theatre….” (Sacramento Bee). In 2008, the Arts & Business Council recognized Capital Stage with the “Arts Management Excellence” award. That same year, our Founding Artistic Director, Stephanie Gularte, was selected as one Sacramento Magazine’s 󈬘 Under 40” people to watch for “giving a shot in the arm to local theatre.” In 2010, the Sacramento News & Review named Capital Stage “the best of the best” for “an unbroken history of picking great plays for great directors, casting them well and letting the show go on from there.”

Over the years, our support base has continued to grow, with new subscribers joining Capital Stage each day, and with funding support coming from important community partners such as Downey Brand, Pillsbury, Wells Fargo, AT&T, Boutin Jones Inc., U.S. Bank, Sierra Health Foundation, the Irvine Foundation, and the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. Our programming has expanded to include our new play development series, the Playwrights’ Revolution, our teen program, Capital Stage Youth Theatre, and an annual group tour to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

With Cap Stage’s rapid growth, it was only a matter of time before our small professional company with its quality productions of contemporary plays, would outgrow our home aboard the Riverboat Delta King. We are bursting with pride to present our 2011-12 Cap Stage season to you in our new home on J Street, the historical Old Armoury repurposed as a custom-designed 125-seat theatre space. This move not only gives Cap Stage a home of our own, it puts us in the heart of the vibrant and thriving midtown Sacramento district where we will ensure our company’s trademark intimacy and intensity while expanding our artistic possibilities.

At Cap Stage we do more than entertain. We bring gutsy, thought-provoking plays to our community casting the finest actors and pursuing an artistic vision that explores the very core of what it means to be human. Our new 2215 J Street home, will keep our audiences close to the action with new heights of creativity. Nothing plush, just a comfortable, intimate theatre that puts the spotlight on the art.


New Stage Theatre was chartered as a nonprofit organization in 1965 and produced its initial season in the winter and spring of 1966. Founded by Jane Reid Petty and seven other charter board members, with the assistance of the American National Theatre Academy and Actors’ Equity Association, the theatre has been dedicated to professional excellence in the dramatic arts since its inception.

Ivan Rider was the theatre’s first artistic director and served in that capacity until 1979. A gifted professional, Rider established the high artistic production standards that remain the hallmark of New Stage programming today.

New Stage’s first home was an adapted church at the corner of Gallatin and Hooker Streets. The full houses for its opening season were significant: they represented the city’s first racially integrated theatre audience and playgoers’ response to more intellectually stimulating theatre fare than had been previously available locally.


Join us Saturday, July 3, 2021 at the State Theatre for a Patriotic Pops Concert and Silent Film.

  • Including marches of Sousa and famous American Composers as well as music from the movies and Broadway.
  • Featuring the Laurel and Hardy silent film “Liberty accompanied by the mighty Wurlitzer organ.
  • Performance by Walt Strony – a premier organist who has performed in venues around the world.

When: Saturday, July 3rd

Performances at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Tickets are $10.00

Archaic Period (900-560 BC)

Known as Miletus, Ephesus was not a well-developed village during Archaic Period. Many scholars assume that during the time of Heraclitus the philosopher, Ephesus had played a essential role as part of the Ionian Renaissance. Until the harbor was built in the city, it was a farming and trade village. Also, since this period, a significant cultic site to Cybele had developed.

  • Cybele: It was an Astarte-like warrior-goddess with the sacred axe. However, later on, Cybele was assimilated with the Anatolian Earth Mother Goddess. Until in 205 BC, when the cult was brought to Rome, there was not much information about the cultic worship. There were some aspects of the cultic worship: the accession of Galli, which was self-emasculated priests and the use of immersion in a bull's blood, which was the practice that was taken over by Mithraism, a mystery religion which became popular among the military in the Roman Empire, from the 1st to 4th centuries AD. [1][4]

Greco-Lydian Period (560-290 BC)

According to Herodotus, a Greek historian who is regarded as the "Father of History" in Western culture, King Croessus (560 BC) conquered the city during 6th century BC, when he tamed the Ionian cities. Mining operations for gold and the minting of Lydian coins were established and these developments made the city trade with other cities. During this period the city built a Temple to the Greek goddess Artemis and redesigned the Cybele cultic site.

In 546 BC, the city was part of the Satrapy of Ionia. When Darius the Great, the third Achaemenid Zoroastrian emperor, died, Xerxes, the son of Persian King, was eager to conquer Greek territory with his great ambition. After battles in Greece, he honored the Temple of Artemis in 478 BC when he returned back. This was very unusual since the Persians destroyed many other contemporary shrines. In 466 BC, when the Persians were completely defeated, Ephesus became a tributary of Athens. The city restored the Artemission in 450 BC.

In 356 BC, Herostratos set fire to the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus in his quest for fame. After the big fire, Ephesus took a long time to recover. Even though Alexander the Great attempted to finish the half-reconstructed Temple, the city declined. It did not complete the restoration until Lysimachus took over after Alexander's death. Lysimachus established new colonists and renamed city after his wife's name, Arsinoë. However, the name didn't last. Building six miles of wall near the city, Lysimachus increased the prominence of the city. [4] [7]


Allison, Helen. Sistren Song: Popular Theatre in Jamaica. London: War on Want, 1986.

Fido, Elaine. "Radical Woman: Woman and Theatre in the Anglophone Caribbean." In Critical Issues in West Indian Literature: Selected Papers from West Indian Literature Conferences, 1981 – 1983, edited by Erika S. Smilowitz and Roberta Q. Knowles. Parkersburg, Iowa: Caribbean Books, 1984.

Harrison, Paul Carter, Victor Walker, II, and Gus Edwards, eds. Black Theatre: Ritual Performance in the African Diaspora. Philadelphia, Pa.: Temple University Press, 2002.

Herskovits, Melville J. The Myth of the Negro Past. New York, 1941. Reprint, Boston: Beacon Press, 1990.

King, Bruce. Derek Walcott and West Indian Drama. Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1995.

Ogunbiyi, Yemi. Drama and Theatre in Nigeria: A Critical Source Book. Lagos: Nigeria Magazine Books, 1981.

Omotoso, Kole. The Theatrical into Theater: A Study of Drama and Theatre in the English-Speaking Caribbean. London: New Beacon Books, 1982.

Stone, Judy. Theatre. Studies in West Indian Literature series. London: Macmillan, 1994.

Watch the video: The Great Theater of Ephesus