Our guide says this theatre, on the side of the hill, is still used for concerts. It looks like a great location for a show on a warm summer’s evening, though the seats might be a bit hard. Unfortunately the gates were locked, so I didn’t get to check out the acoustics.
This is also supposedly the very first theatre ever built. I’m not sure how you would prove that, records from 2,600 years ago being not as well preserved as you would hope. It is worth noting though, that the arts was a big part of ancient Greek culture.
Looking at the stage got me to thinking about human creativity. That is, after all, what sets us apart from the animals. We are created in the image of a God who creates. It is logical therefore that we would seek to express creativity in a myriad of different ways. with theatre (story telling) one of the earliest forms.
We have a craving for story. Whether it is books, film, live theatre or any one of a dozen other forms, humans want to hear a story. We learn about life, our own and others, through story. The telling of the tale reinforces our humanity and gives us a shared history.
On this trip I didn’t get to see a play or a concert at the Theatre of Dionysius, but I can imagine what the experience would be like. I can envision what the venue would have looked like a couple of millennia ago, and imagine I was in attendance for a premiere for a new play from Euripedes or Aristophanes – playwrights so gifted we still remember them today.
Imagination drives so much of what we do. We look at what is, we think of what was, we wonder about what could be.
In this spot people have been using their imaginations to entertain for thousands of years. That is a great tradition to be part of.