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The auditorium of a theater.

Description: In the development of the Greek theater building, the orchestra was the earliest portion. The spectators stood or sat about this circular theatral area during the performance of the choral dance. The first addition to the orchestra was the auditorium. The Greeks developed one of the best methods in setting a large number of spectators around a small space. At first the spectators were seated on the ground. They then used concentric tiers of seats, at first wooden benches, called ikria; later elaborate stone seats evolved. These tiers followed the circular shape of the orchestra and were placed on the rising ground of a hillside, following the natural contours of the land. Usually the theatron was symmetrical, but not always; quite irregular shapes exist. This was the characteristic pattern of the Greek and, with minor variations, of the Roman theater building. The auditorium, like the orchestra, was never provided with a roof (though in Roman times awnings were used).

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