All About History

Hallowed ground

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The orchestra was the oldest part of the theatre. A circular area with an altar (known as a thymele) in the centre, it had been reserved for religious ceremonies since the 6th century BCE. Rather than being a pit for musicians, the orchestra in Greek theatre was where the chorus performed. Even as Greek theatre increasing­ly gave way to acting, the chorus continued to play a vital part in production­s, often providing commentary on what characters were doing.

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