Saturday, August 11, 2012

Roman Theatre

The Roman Theatre in Verona, Italy was built during the 1st century. It sits on the edge of town just outside the river and city walls. Climbing up all those rows of seats I imagined the theatre filled with Romans watching a comedy. Just like people today watch a variety of television programs, tragedies and shows based on the Roman gods were also performed. Instead of going to the movies, the men would come to the theatre after a long day of work. Slaves giving the performances wore gray wigs and white clothing for old people and dark wigs and bright clothing for young. Were the slaves doing the acting happy with their jobs? Since the admission was free and this was one of the primary forms of entertainment the theatres must have been packed especially once women were allowed to see the shows.

As time wore on the theatre was eventually burried and forgotten about. In fact houses and other structures were built on top of it during the 10th century.

The Church of Saints Siro and Libera was built on the edge of the theatre during the 10th century.

Then during the 18th century a wealthy resident, rediscovered the theatre, bought the land and began excavation and restoration work. Now Shakespeare plays are performed at the theatre each summer.

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