Acting History

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The history of the acting profession comes all the way from ancient Greece, where the first known actor, Thespis, performed in the year 534 B.C. in the Dionisium Theatre. The first registered act consisted of Thespis narrating a story in first person, something that wasn’t done before.

However the professionalization of this career wasn’t official until the 16th century in Europe. In Italy with Commedia Dell’ Arte company and in England with the royal companies created during Queen Elizabeth’s rule.

Until the 17th century the only ones allowed to go on stage and perform as actors were men and it wasn’t until in Venice a dramatist decided to give a female role to a woman that women started getting careers as actresses.

Vocabulary:

  • Proffessionalization: Process whereby occupations have become, or seek to become, publicly recognized as professions according to the degree to which they meet the alleged criteria.
  • Thespis: Greek poet, said to have been born in the district of Icaria.
  • Dramatist: A person that writes plays.
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