|Summary:||Theater located inside the West Gate, in the north-west of the city beneath the acropolis and to the north of the Temple of Dionysos|
|Date:||ca. 400 BC - ca. 150 BC|
Length of rear wall of oldest stage building: ca. 30 m. Width of central door of the oldest stage: 3.26 m. Diameter of the orchestra, in both of its locations: ca. 20.20 m. Total height of seating above orchestra: ca. 9 m.
Doric and Ionic. Fragments of a Doric frieze come from the facade of the proscenium of the third construction phase, whereas the second proscenium employed the Ionic order.
A theater with central circular orchestra and semi-circular arrangement of seats, divided by stairs into eleven wedges or cunei. In front of the orchestra stood the stage building with proscenium and parascenia. The auditorium is calculated to have been able to accommodate ca. 6300 people. A curious feature of the plan is the presence of a below-ground staircase leading from the rear of the stage building to the center of the orchestra; characters representing underworld figures could emerge via this passageway.
There is no definite archaeological evidence for the dating of the earliest stage building; Fiechter dated it to the fifth century B.C. via analogy with the Theater of Dionysos at Athens (
Again, there is no conclusive archaeological evidence for the date of the second phase of construction of the theater, when the orchestra was sunk below ground level and the earlier stage building was supported by a stone structure with vaulted passage. This change probably occurred during the late fourth century B.C., a date which is supported by the evidence of inscriptions from votive bases which were erected on the new parodos walls: IG XII.9.273-275.
The final reconstruction phase of the theater, thought by Fiechter to represent a major reconstruction phase before the destruction of Eretria by the Romans in 198 B.C., is now recognized to have been a hasty renovation employing many reused blocks, and almost certainly dating to post-198 B.C. (
Three major construction phases of the stage building have been recognized. The date of the earliest stage building is disputed: some place it in the fifth century B.C. (