Of, relating to, or appropriate for use in a theater of operations
ETYM French théâtre, Latin theatrum, Greek, from thea seeing; cf. Skr. dhyâ to meditate, think. Related to Theory.
A place or building in which dramatic performances for an audience take place; these include drama, dancing, music, mime, opera, ballet, and puppets. Theatre history can be traced to Egyptian religious ritualistic drama as long ago as 3200 bc. The first known European theaters were in Greece from about 600 bc.
The earliest theaters, were natural amphitheaters. By the Hellenistic period came the development of the stage, a raised platform on which the action took place. In medieval times, temporary stages of wood and canvas, one for every scene, were set up in churches and market squares for the performance of mimes and miracle plays. With the Renaissance came the creation of scenic illusion, with the actors appearing within a proscenium arch; in the 19th century the introduction of the curtain and interior lighting further heightened this illusion. In the 20th century, alternative types of theater have been developed, including open stage, thrust stage, theater-in-the-round, and studio theater.
Famous theater companies include the Comédie Française in Paris (founded by Louis xiv 1690 and given a permanent home 1792) was the first national theater. The Living Theater was founded in New York in 1947 by Julian Beck and Judith Malina. In Britain the National Theatre company was established 1963; other national theaters exist in Stockholm, Moscow, Athens, Copenhagen, Vienna, Warsaw, and elsewhere.
(Alternate spelling: theatre).
A building where theatrical performances or motion-picture shows can be presented; SYN. theatre, house.