Classical Civilisation Prep    Dominic Wong    8/3/2007

“Unfortunately, Roman theatre was so poor that a modern audience would find nothing to enjoy” Is this a fair assessment of Roman Theatre?

        The Romans had theatres like the Greeks. However, different from the Greek theatres (in which only solemn religious played were performed), theatrical performances in Roman theatres became more secular. Theatrical performances were different from other kinds of Roman entertainment, like gladiatorial fights and chariot racing, they had nothing to do with cruelty or bloodshed. Roman people could simply go into the theatre to relax and laugh. So therefore, theatres were very popular among the Roman people. However, in the 21st century, a modern audience might not enjoy the performance as much as the ancient Romans did.

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        The conditions in a Roman theatre were poor, compared to modern-day theatres, cinemas, or concert halls. The theatre was a large, open-air building: it was open to weather. Under unfavourable weather conditions, the audience had to sit on uncomfortable stone seats for long hours under hot suns, or heavy rains. However, modern theatres are not open to air, and are air-conditioned. Audience may enjoy the performances very comfortably at any time. It is difficult for modern people to enjoy shows in a Roman theatre, when they can choose to go to a modern theatre.

        In a Roman ...

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