The development of Greek theater began during the Golden Age of Ancient Greece. Because there was peace and prosperity, people had more time to pursue creativity. They were no longer concerned with survival, but had more time for entertainment, the arts, deeper thinking and architectural projects. For this lesson, we chose to dwell more on Greek theater.
The Greeks loved theater. They were the first we know of to introduce actors on a stage. An entire play back then may have used only two or three actors, but they often played several parts. To look like different characters, the actors wore big masks. The masks could make them look old, young, happy, sad, or even like part animal. The masks usually had large, exaggerated eyes and mouths to help the audience see the actors, even from far away.
How To Make a Greek Theater Mask
- paper plates
1. On a paper plate, lightly draw a facing using a pencil, and give it a strong expression (happy, sad, etc.) by how large you draw the eyes and mouth.
2. Cut out small holes for the eyes, just big enough for you to see out of. Cut out a small mouth as well.
3. Color in the background with bright crayons like yellow or orange.
4. Use markers to outline the eyes and mouth.
5. Glue strands of yarn to the top of the plate for hair.
6. Attach elastic or rubber band with stapler so the mask will fit your head.
* You may make several masks for different expressions if you wish.
Source: Mystery of History, Volume I – Lesson 75 “The Golden Age of Athens“