The hypocrites (actors) and the chorus were among the most important elements of a theatrical performance.
Wine jug (oinochoe) depicting a chorus of men disguised as birds (ca. 480 B.C), London, British Museum.
The hypocrites (this is how the actors were called at the time) were only men who impersonated both the male and the female roles in the plays. With their body and their voice they turned the words of the text into action. In tragedy, the hypocrites were initially two and then three, while in comedy they were between four and seven. But the roles of a play were more than the number of hypocrites, especially in tragedy. So, in the same performance each hypocrites impersonated several roles.
Fragment from a vessel for mixing wine with water (krater). A tragedy hypocrites is observing the mask of an elderly man, which he is holding in his right hand (ca. 350 B.C., Martin von Wagner Museum, Würzburg).
The chorus was a group of men who had to sing and dance synchronically. All the members of the group played the same role (old men, women, soldiers, etc.) depending on the plot of the plays. The distinguishing figure of the chorus was the corypheus, that is, the leader who guided the rest of the chorus regarding their direction, movement and rhythm in the orchestra.