Ancient Greek Architecture

After it was discovered that the wooden bleachers were prone to collapsing, permanent stone seating was built. The architects created concentric tiers of seats that followed the circular shape of the orchestra and hugged the rising ground of a hillside, following the natural contours of the land. Usually, theatrons were symmetrical; however, there do remain examples of irregularly shaped theatrons. A horizontal passage called the diazoma separated the theatron into halves, thus allowing audience members to more easily get to their seats. The front seats were called proedria and were reserved for officials and priests. The skene of the fifth century theater is believed to have been a temporary structure, erected and taken down for each festival. It was constructed using light and perishable materials until later, when theaters were built in stone. At that point, a permanent stone skene was built (Allen 28). More became known about the skene after it changed to a permanent, stone fixture in the theater of the fourth century B.C. Lastly, but likely the most important part of theater is the orchestra. In its simplest form the orchestra is simply a circular plot of land designated as a place for dance. In fact, this is exactly how



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