History of Western Theatre: Greeks to Elizabethans/Special Effects

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Mechanai, or machines were devices that were used to lift actors, allowing them to appear behind the scenery. The mêchanê were similar to cranes that we have today. This was a common method to portray the Greek Gods. An Ekkyklema, or wheeled out platform would be brought onto the playing area to show scenes that took place beyond the view of the audience. Many times, they were brought out to show the results of violent acts, especially deaths (as those were never played out on the stage.