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Θέατρον: ὁ τόπος ἐν ᾧ θεάται τις

Theatre from its very inception was created of voyeuristic material. Aristotle in his Poetics, the first theoretical text written on theatre, refers to the pleasure enjoyed by the viewers «τὰς εἰκόνας ὁρῶντες» (as they watch likenesses, Arist. Po. 1448b). The etymology of the word «θέατρον» (theatre) leads us to the term «θέα» (view), meaning look, contemplation, while theatron is «ὁ τόπος ἐν ᾧ θεάται τις», signifying the place where someone both watches and is being watched.


Video: "Persona" (2011), installation by Romeo Castellucci

Excerpt: Eleni Papalexiou, “The Dramaturgies of the Gaze: Strategies of Vision and Optical Revelations in the Theatre of Romeo Castellucci and the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio”, in: Theatre as Voyeurism. The pleasures of Watching, George Rodosthenous (ed.), London: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2015: 50-68.

World Theatre Day, 2021

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