The Roman theater in Orange is an impressive experience.
Standing next to the stage, I began to imagine the performances of the past.
What costumes and stage props did they use 2,000 years ago?
What tragedies and comedies were performed?
Visiting theatrical performances would have been a key part of life during the Roman Empire.
Theatrical events would have helped to distract people from the hardships of everyday life — an important goal for Roman dictators.
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The Mistral Wind
Suddenly, a massive gust of wind blasted through the theater’s arched entrance.
It carried an orange dust cloud that quickly billowed over the stage.
I squinted to protect my eyes.
Despite clear blue skies, the wind was proving to be ferocious on this cool autumn day.
I could see why the Romans had built a wooden roof over the theater to protect the audience.
I would later learn how common and powerful these mistral winds are. They have been known to reach as high as 115 mph (185 km/h).
They were undoubtedly blowing with intensity during the time of the Romans.
The Theater’s History
The theater was constructed during the reign of Emperor Augustus Caesar in the 1st century CE. Since then, it has been showcasing talent for centuries.
The walls of the theater are so robust that the structure was used as a defensive stronghold for the townspeople of Orange during the Middle Ages.
Today, the theater seats 9,000 people and regularly hosts performances from world-renowned artists.
It can also be rented out for private events.
To see what is currently playing at the theater, here is a link to their website.
An Inside Look
Despite the powerful mistral wind that challenged my camera’s stabilizer, I managed to shoot a few video clips.
Here’s my very quick take on the Roman Theater in Orange: