Works of art offer a tantalizing window onto the world of ancient Greek theater, providing rich clues to the stories, music, costumes, masks, and actors of ancient tragedies, satyr plays, and comedies.

I hope you’ll enjoy this talk, which complements the exhibition The Art of Ancient Greek Theater. In the full talk, I discuss the origins of ancient Greek drama; describe the role of Dionysos, god of ecstatic transformation; and highlight a variety of beautifully painted ancient vessels featuring scenes from ancient Greek theater. (You can see many of the objects I discuss in the exhibition slideshow.) The excerpt focuses on the only known Greek painting of tragedy being performed on stage.

Hear the Entire Talk
Begins with an introduction by Karol Wight, senior curator of antiquities. Running time: 41:30

[audio:http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/ancient_theater/audio/maryhart_lecture_full.mp3|bg=0x6699cc|righticon=6699cc|loader=0x6699cc|titles=Art and Performance in Classical Greece|artists=Mary Louise Hart] Download (MP3 file, 38.9 MB)

Highlight: Oedipus Discovering the Truth
Running time: 2:23
[audio:http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/ancient_theater/audio/maryhart_lecture_clip.mp3|bg=0x6699cc|righticon=6699cc|loader=0x6699cc|titles=Oedipus Discovering the Truth|artists=Mary Louise Hart]