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Portal:Theatre

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The Theatre Portal

New York State Theater
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.

The term theatre (from the Greek theatron) enjoys the distinction of two spellings: "theatre" in British English and "theater" in American English. 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. 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".

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Gladiators shown on the late Roman Gladiator Mosaic
The inaugural games of the Flavian Amphitheatre were held in 80 AD, on the orders of the Roman Emperor Titus, to celebrate the completion of the Colosseum, then known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. Vespasian began construction of the amphitheatre around 70 AD, and it was completed by Titus soon after Vespasian's death in 79 AD. After Titus' reign began with months of disasters, including the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, a fire in Rome, and an outbreak of plague, he inaugurated the building with lavish games which lasted for more than a hundred days, perhaps partially in an attempt to appease the Roman public and the gods. Little documentary evidence of the nature of the games remains. They appear to have followed the standard format of the Roman games: animal entertainments in the morning session, followed by the executions of criminals around midday, with the afternoon session reserved for gladiatorial combats and recreations of famous battles. Only three contemporary or near-contemporary accounts of the games survive. The works of Suetonius and Cassius Dio focus on major events, while Martial provides some fragments of information on individual entertainments and the only detailed record of a gladiatorial combat in the arena to survive to the present day: the fight between Verus and Priscus.

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Walt Disney Concert Hall
Credit: Carol M. Highsmith

The Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, California is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center. The Frank Gehry-designed building, an example of Deconstructivism, opened on October 23, 2003 and features his trademark steel cladding. While the architecture evoked mixed opinions, the acoustics of the concert hall were widely praised in contrast to its predecessor, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

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Punch

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Anton Chekhov. Painting by Osip Braz
Anton Chekhov was a Russian physician, short story writer, and playwright. His brief playwriting career produced four classics of the repertoire, while his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Chekhov practised as a doctor throughout his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife," he once said, "and literature is my mistress". Chekhov renounced the theatre after the disastrous reception of The Seagull in 1896; but the play was revived to acclaim by Konstantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Uncle Vanya and premiered Chekhov’s last two plays, The Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a special challenge to an acting ensemble, and they also challenge audiences, because in place of conventional action Chekhov offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged life in the text". Not everyone appreciated that challenge: Leo Tolstoy reportedly told Chekhov, "You know, I cannot abide Shakespeare, but your plays are even worse". Tolstoy did, however, admire Chekhov's short stories. Chekhov had at first written stories only for the money, but as his artistic ambition grew, he made formal innovations which have influenced the evolution of the modern short story. His originality consists in an early use of the stream-of-consciousness technique, later exploited by Virginia Woolf and other modernists, combined with a disavowal of the moral finality of traditional story structure.

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Mary Saunderson

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Theatre(45 C, 92 P)
Theatre by city(27 C, 7 P)
Theatre by country(162 C)
Theatre by culture(10 C)
Theatre by date(2 C)
Theatre in Europe(7 C)
History of theatre(27 C, 91 P)
Parts of a theatre(1 C, 39 P)
Theatre-related lists(5 C, 29 P)
Acting(18 C, 51 P)
Alternative theatre(1 C, 16 P)
Amateur theatre(2 C, 13 P)
Theatre awards(8 C, 11 P)
Ballet(22 C, 9 P)
Theatre characters(5 C, 14 P)
Christmas onstage(4 C, 11 P)
Costumes(4 C, 7 P)
Theatre criticism(2 C, 4 P)
Theatre databases(3 P)
Drama(29 C, 73 P)
Theatre festivals(11 C, 3 P)
Films set in a theatre(1 C, 30 P)
Fringe theatre(1 C, 20 P)
Futurist theatre(4 P)
Theatrical genres(44 C, 130 P, 1 F)
Theatre logos(2 F)
Masks in theatre(2 C, 6 P)
Theatre museums(4 C, 19 P)
Theatrical occupations(48 C, 71 P)
Theatrical organizations(6 C, 21 P)
Theatre people(7 C)
Plays(36 C, 3 P)
Puppet theaters(41 P)
Theatre soundtracks(1 C, 84 P)
Stagecraft(12 C, 68 P, 1 F)
Street theatre(34 P, 1 F)
Theatre studies(1 C, 7 P)
Theatres(26 C, 16 P)
Touring theatre(3 C, 30 P)
Works about theatre(15 C, 1 P)
Theatre stubs(9 C, 359 P)

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W. Somerset Maugham
The secret of playwriting can be given in two maxims: stick to the point, and whenever you can, cut.

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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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