Ancient Greek Theatre was performed in amphitheatres, which were outdoor theatres cut out of the side of a hill. Most of these theatres held between 15,000 and 20,000 people. Some notable Greek amphitheatres were the Theatre Epidaurus, designed by Polycletitos, the Attic Theatre, and the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens.
The stage in these theatres was a circular space at the bottom of the hillside, called the "orchestra". At the center of the orchestra was the altar, or thymele, which was used in ceremonies to honor the god Dionysus. Behind the orchestra stood a temporary stage house, or skene, where costumes and scenery were kept, and where actors stayed while waiting to go on. The skene, and the side wings of the skene called paraskenion, were also used as an anchor for mechane, a crane used to simulate flying.
Stretching around most of the orchestra was the audience. There, seating was determined by social class and occupation, with council members and priests sitting in the front rows. The two openings between the skene and audience were called "parados," and were used for entrances by actors. Actors often made entrances through the parados on a wheeled platform called an ekkyklema, especially when portraying a god.
/ audience \
/ ______________ \
/ / /---------\ \ \
/ / / altar \ \ \
| | | X | | |
| | | | | |
| | \ orchestra / | |
|____________| \_________/ |___________
| skene |
Many apologies that the orchestra and audience are supposed to be round...