Dionysos was celebrated as the patron of both theatre and actors. In Athens, three Dionysiac festivals included competitive performances of tragedy, comedy, or satyr plays.

These types of drama originally emerged from Dionysiac ritual performances and were themselves a form of worship. Apart from their entertainment value, these performances allowed the community to come together both to experience Dionysos’ transformative power and to explore contemporary social issues.

Man’s a creature doomed to trouble by his very nature, and his life brings many griefs with it. He therefore invented these ways of distracting himself from anxious thoughts; because after your mind forgets its own problems and gets entranced by someone else’s suffering, it leaves happy—plus educated.

- Timocles, Fragment 6