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New York State Theater
Theatre (Greek "theatron"), enjoys the distinction of two spellings: in British English, "theatre" and in American English, "theater". There is no technical distinction between the meanings of the two spellings, however most theatre artists prefer the English spelling because it creates a historical nod to the ancient Greek term theatron. Some also use the American spelling to designate a theatre building and the English term to reference the art itself, as in the "art of theatre."

Theatre is that branch of the performing arts concerned with the creation of stories or narratives for (or with) an audience using combinations of acting, speech, gesture, music, dance, object manipulation, sound and spectacle — indeed, any one or more elements of the other performing arts. In addition to standard narrative dialogue style, theatre takes such forms as opera, musicals, ballet, mime, kabuki, classical Indian dance, Chinese opera, mummers' plays, improvisation, story theater and pantomime.

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The "gravedigger scene" by Eugène Delacroix
Hamlet is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, probably written between 1599 and 1601. Set in Denmark, the play tells how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle for murdering the previous king, Hamlet's father. Hamlet's uncle has since stolen the throne and taken Hamlet's mother, the dead king's widow, as his wife. The play vividly charts the course of real and feigned madness—from overwhelming grief to seething rage—and explores themes of treachery, incest, and moral corruption. Despite much literary detective work, the exact year of writing remains in dispute. Three different early versions of the play survived, which are known as the First Quarto, the Second Quarto, and the First Folio. Each has lines, and even scenes, that are missing from the others. Shakespeare probably based Hamlet on an Indo-European legend—preserved by a 13th-century chronicler, and retold by a 16th-century scholar—and a lost Elizabethan play known today as the Ur-Hamlet. The play's dramatic structure and Shakespeare's depth of characterisation mean that Hamlet can be analysed and interpreted—and argued about—from many perspectives. Hamlet is by far Shakespeare's longest play, and among the most powerful and influential tragedies in the English language. The title role was almost certainly created for Richard Burbage, the leading tragedian of Shakespeare's time; in the four hundred years since, it has been played by the greatest actors, and sometimes actresses, of each successive age.

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L'Hemisferic
Credit: Diliff

L'Hemisferic, an IMAX Cinema, planetarium and Laserium, on the grounds of the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències ("City of Arts and Sciences"), in Valencia, Spain.

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Chikamatsu Monzaemon

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John Millington Synge
John Millington Synge was an Irish dramatist, poet, prose writer, and collector of folklore. He was a key figure in the Irish Literary Revival and was one of the cofounders of the Abbey Theatre. He is best known for the play The Playboy of the Western World, which caused riots in Dublin during its opening run at the Abbey. Although he came from a middle-class Protestant background, Synge's writings are mainly concerned with the world of the Roman Catholic peasants of rural Ireland and with what he saw as the essential paganism of their world view. Synge suffered from Hodgkin's disease, a form of cancer that was untreatable at the time. He died just weeks short of his 38th birthday and was at the time trying to complete his last play Deirdre of the Sorrows.

Did you know...

Dorset Garden Theatre

  • ...that the audience of the Dorset Garden Theatre (pictured) in Restoration London found it fashionable and convenient to arrive by boat, thereby avoiding the crime-ridden area of Alsatia?
  • ...that Takemoto Gidayū's contributions to the form of bunraku (Japanese puppet theatre) were so influential that all chanters (narrators) in bunraku are now called gidayū?
  • ...that, before building the landmark Gandy Bridge, George Gandy was known for building a large successful theatre, originally derided as "Gandy's White Elephant"?

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Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay
The business of the dramatist is to keep out of sight and let nothing appear but his characters.

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Theatre

History: Sanskrit PlaysNatya ShastraNatya Shastra of BharataKoodiyattamBhasaKālidāsaKathakaliBhavabhutiHarshaChinese theatreCantonese OperaBeijing OperaRamakienNohBunrakuKabukiButohTheatre of Ancient GreeceTheatre of ancient RomeMedieval theatreCommedia dell'ArteEnglish Renaissance theatreRestoration comedyRestoration spectacularNeoclassicismTwentieth century theatre

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Types: ComedyDramaMusical theatreHip-Hop theater

Philosophy: AristotlePoeticsKonstantin StanislavskiAntonin ArtaudBertolt BrechtOrson WellesPeter BrookJerzy GrotowskiMeisner techniqueStanislavsky SystemMethod actingPresentational acting

Organization: Community theatreDinner theatreFringe theatreSummer stock theatreRegional theatreOff-Off-BroadwayOff-BroadwayOff West EndBroadway theatreWest End theatre

Unions: Actors' Equity AssociationSociety of Stage Directors and ChoreographersInternational Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees

Awards: Back Stage West Garland AwardsDrama Desk AwardEvening Standard AwardsGreen Room AwardHans-Reinhart-RingHelpmann AwardJoseph Jefferson AwardLaurence Olivier AwardsLondon Critics' Circle Theatre AwardsLucille Lortel AwardManchester Evening NewsMatilda AwardNew York Innovative Theatre AwardsMolière AwardObie AwardOvation AwardsSangeet Natak Academy AwardTheatre Pasta Theatre AwardsTony Award

Stagecraft: Theatre directorPlaywrightActorProduction teamSet designerLighting designerCostume designerSound designDramaturgStage managementProduction managerTechnical theatre

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