Ancient Greek Theatre

by Ellen Williams


Unit Objective 

Students will be able to express a knowledge of Greek Theatre History and its influence on theatre today by performing in a scene from Medea with Greek theatre elements for a classroom dramatic festival.
**This unit is built around the textbook of “History of the Theatre” by Oscar Brockett (10th Edition)


Learning Level 



Prior Experience

Beginning Acting, Character Work, Voice and Diction, Memorization


National Standards 

TH:Cr1.1.HSII a. Investigate historical and cultural conventions and their impact on the visual composition of a drama/theatre work.


TH:Cr2.1.HSII a. Refine a dramatic concept to demonstrate a critical understanding of historical and cultural influences of original ideas applied to a drama/theatre work. b. Cooperate as a creative team to make interpretive choices for a drama/theatre work.


TH:Cr3.1.HSIa. Practice and revise a devised or scripted drama/theatre work using theatrical staging conventions. b. Explore physical, vocal and physiological choices to develop a performance that is believable, authentic, and relevant to a drama/theatre work. c. Refine technical design choices to support the story and emotional impact of a devised or scripted drama/ theatre work.


TH:Pr4.1.HSI a. Examine how character relationships assist in telling the story of a drama/theatre work. b. Shape character choices using given circumstances in a drama/theatre work. TH:Pr6.1.HSI a. Perform a scripted drama/theatre work for a specific audience. TH:Re7.1.HSIII a. Use historical and cultural context to structure and justify personal responses to a drama/theatre work.


TH:Re9.1.HSII a. Analyze and assess a drama/theatre work by connecting it to art forms, history, culture, and other disciplines using supporting evidence and criteria. b. Construct meaning in a drama/theatre work, considering personal aesthetics and knowledge of production elements while respecting others’ interpretations. c. Verify how a drama/theatre work communicates for a specific purpose and audience.


TH:Cn11.1.HSI a. Explore how cultural, global, and historic belief systems affect creative choices in a drama/theatre work.


Big Ideas:

Art and social culture are inexcusably intertwined on all levels. What we know as theatre today developed over centuries upon centuries of theatrical traditions and innovations. We can incorporate theatrical traditions from times past and artists past in order to enhance our art production.


Essential Questions:

What role does ancient Greek theatre play in the theatre we all know and love? How does our political and social history effect the art we create? How did it effect the art created in the past? In what ways can we use our knowledge of Greek theatre to inform how we create theatre today?


Key Knowledge and Skills:

Students will know: Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles, Comedy, Tragedy, Hubris, Amphitheatre, Medea, Ancient Greek Time Periods, Parthenon, Dionysus, Thespis

Students will be able to: Incorporate Greek theatre tradition in a scene, Label parts of an Amphitheatre, Analyze play for unique elements.


Authentic Performance Tasks:

Quiz, Writing Prompt, Scene performance, Game Show Review




Lesson 1

Lesson Objective: Students will have a basic knowledge of Ancient Greece and the origins of theatre by taking notes on the presentation and video.


Lesson 2

Lesson Objective: Students will demonstrate and understanding of Greek theatre by taking notes and drawing a diagram for amphitheaters.


Lesson 3

Lesson Objective: Students will demonstrate ability to collect key information about Greek theatre by reading through their textbook and sharing their gathered information with their peers as well as participating in a Greek theatre review game show.


Lesson 4

Lesson Objective: Students will display an ability to read and understand through applying their previous knowledge of Ancient Greek Theatre by reading Medea as a class.


Lesson 5

Lesson Objective: Students will display understanding of Greek theatre by finding and choosing a scene from Medea to perform in class as well as taking a Quiz.


Lesson 6

Lesson Objective: Students will deep application of Greek theatre knowledge by preparing scene for performing.


Lesson 7

Lesson Objective: Students will demonstrate understanding of Greek theatre plays and culture by performing a scene in our class theatre festival.


Greek Theatre Unit of Lessons.Ellen Williams