Parsantium’s huge theatre was built five hundred years ago during the reign of Florian I and is constructed in the semi-circular Batiaran style and holds an audience of up to 5,000 citizens. The theatre has exceptional acoustics, so good that even a whisper from an actor on stage can be clearly heard by someone sitting right at the back of the audience.
The audience sit on tiered rows of limestone seats, directly facing the stage which is raised several feet above the front row. In front of the stage is a large archway, known as the proscenium arch which acts as a window through which the theatregoers view the play; this arch also has a curtain which can be lowered or drawn closed. At the back of the stage is the skene, a building with doors that serves as the backdrop in Batiaran theatre. Since the Theatre of Aymara is situated near the shore of the island, the view behind the stage is of the Corsairs’ Sea.
The Aymaran Festivites are held twice per year, taking place in early winter and late spring. This consists of a week-long drama competition in honour of the goddess in which seven playwrights much each enter three plays: two tragedies and one comedy. For the last three years, the talented but very conservative dramatist Dulcitius won five out of six times, but the winner at the most recent festival was the iconoclastic and charismatic young bard, Iancu Petronas.
Traditional Batiaran drama involves two or three actors wearing simple white robes and different masks to depict the various characters they are playing, plus a chorus of half a dozen others, dressed in black who provide commentary on the action. No women appear on the stage; female roles are always played by men. Violence is also never shown: when somebody is about to die in a play, that person is taken to the back and offstage to be "killed" and is then brought back "dead."
Iancu Petronas and his friends and contemporaries are determined to change all this. Their modern plays feature a bigger cast, colourful costumes, female performers playing women characters, comic relief in serious plays to keep the mob happy, and above all, sublime use of language and poetry. Swordfights and violent deaths take place on stage and there is an attempt to create realistic scenery by hanging painted backdrops on cloth from the roof of the skene. Unsurprisingly, Petronas and his “new drama” is popular with many theatregoers and disliked by Dulicitus, Vetranis and other traditional playwrights. Iancu and his friends are also habitual drunks, carousers and womanizers, frequenting raucous festhalls and taverns such as the Winking Vixen and the Fallen Angel in the red light district in the Old Quarter. This has made them even more despised by the establishment.
Aymara is the goddess of love & the arts <see Book of the Righteous>