- In the ancient Greek theater, a wooden building behind theproscenium used as a dressing room and backstage area. Thefront of the skene was decorated with painted panels, fromwhich the English word 'scene' derives. The building had three doors(later five) through which the actors made their entrances and exits;each of these had a symbolic meaning, for example, one entrance wasreserved for an arrival from a distant place. During the 5th centuryBC the skene became stone rather than wood. A centurylater it acquired a long platform that elevated the principal actorsabove the chorus in the orchestra.