Theater is a type of fine art which relies on live acting, carried out by one or more actors or performers on stage. It is a type of performing arts that represents stories acted in front of spectators or recorded by a camera, using a combination of speech, gestures, props, music, scenography, stage clothes, sound effects etc.
The history of theater can be defined as the study of the evolution of drama over the centuries. The concept of theater as an art form is very broad. Any group of people who develop or perform a show at a given time and space can be considered a theatrical show. Naturally, theater has also a literary basis, a script or written form with an argument or plot. A writer that writes a script or a theater play is called playwright.
However, in order for a literary piece to be considered as theater, it requires a dramatic text, which is essential for its interpretation by actors or characters, who carry out the plot or action within a story. Other elements that are necessary are stage directions, such as scenery, scenography, lighting conditions, makeup, costumes or stage clothes, etc. Some shows may also be performed without text, as is the case with mimicry and pantomime which highlights gestural expressions and body language. Also, an indispensable element of expression in theater is the presence of an audience, since theater functions as an element of socialization due to its ritualistic origins.
The word theater is derived from the Greek word, “theatron”, meaning place to contemplate. Theater also includes the literary genre comprised of plays to be performed before an audience or to be recorded and played as a film. In addition to the standard narrative style which can be in the form of prose or poetry, theater also takes other forms such as opera, ballet, Chinese opera, pantomime, etc.