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Thespis of Icaria (6th century BC) is thought to be the first actor.

In ancient Greece, festivals were held to honor Dionysus (Bacchus), the God of wine, revelry and fertility. These festivals centered around a Dithyrambic Chorus which sang long liturgical hymns. Later, Greek drama emerged from the Dithyrambic Chorus, believed to be the credit of Thespis, who stepped out from the Chorus to act out parts of the story on stage.

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