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Crossing the Stages:
The Production, Performance and Reception of Ancient Theater


Emma M. Griffiths
University of Bristol

Child Actors on the Fifth Century Stage: A Director's View

There are several child characters in extant Greek tragedy, and the question is often asked whether they were played by child actors. The answer has usually been sought in secondary evidence and in assessing the balance of probabilities about what would have been 'natural'. It is my contention that the answer lies in the text itself, and that the plays which involve children were written by playwrights who were aware of, and responding to, the difficulties of working with child actors. In particular, it can be shown that all child characters have their movements verbally cued, in a way which the movements of adult characters are not.

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