- The oldest surviving Renaissance theater. The magnificentvenue in Vicenza, Italy, was built by the Olympic Academy of Vicenza,a body founded in 1555 for the study of Greek drama. It was designedby Andrea Palladio (1518 - 80), who aimed to create the effectof an indoor Roman theater. Palladio died soon after beginning theconstruction work in 1580 and the theater was completed four yearslater by Vincenzo Scamozzi (1552 - 1616). The theater's semicircularraised seating curves around a small orchestra and the raisedacting area. Behind the stage is an elaborate stone wall with fiveopenings, three being doors painted with perspective views of streetsleading away. The Teatro Olimpico opened in 1585 with Sophocles'sOedipus Rex.