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Word Count: 846
Perhaps one of the greatest aspects of the Arts today is the Performing Arts Yet without previous cultures such as the ancient Greeks the Romans and the Europeans we would not have the entertaining history enriched performing arts that we do now The history of the Ancient Greek Theater begins with a man known as Thespis A figure of whom we know very little he won the play competition in honor of the Greek god Dionysus in 534 BC While it is uncertain whether Thespis was a playwright an actor or a priest it is his name with which the dramatic arts are associated in our word Thespian The Greeks held their performances in theaters located in large holding up to twenty thousand people hillside amphitheaters The players included a chorus and their leader and the lines were chanted instead of spoken The actors performed below the audience rather than performing on a raised stage as actors do now They used masks to represent characters and high soled boots worn to add height to the players limited the movement of the actors The concept of actors was not originally a part of Greek theater but was developed over a period of time The decline of Greek government and society coincided with the rise of the Roman Empire The Romans borrowed borrowed much from the Greeks including their Gods and their theater Although Roman theater may not be held in the same high esteem as that of the Greeks they inherited much from the influence of the Roman Theater including the word play itself which derives from a literal translation of the Latin word ludus which means recreation or play An author of some Roman theatrical dramas is Plautus 250-184 BC Plays
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