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Lights, Costumes, Action - A Look at the History of the Theatre

One of the pleasures that people enjoy is an evening at the theatre. For a few hours, patrons are transported to a different place and time, by way of the performance of the actors and actresses on the stage. There is a number of ways that the performance moves people. By way of portrayals of a role, whether it be a fictional character or not, the actors on stage can help you escape to a different place and time. In addition, the scenery, lighting, costumes and music can also help you escape.

The theatre has had a long and distinguished history of providing entertainment to patrons of the arts. Some of the earliest known theatre portrayals can be traced back to around 700 B.C., where the Greeks would put on festivals which honored the gods and goddesses of history. These festivals were one of the first performances that were conducted in front of live audiences.

Over the course of time, theatrical performances continued to be a big part of cultures for many different eras. Each era built upon the history of previous generations of the theatre. Improvements over time in story telling, costuming, set design and many other areas, have made the theatre an important part of our culture.

To help you learn more about the origin and evolution of the theatre, we have put together the following useful resources. We hope this information helps you understand where theatre began, where it is now and the theatre of the future.

Greek Theatre

Roman Theatre

Medieval Theatre

Renaissance Era Theatre

Modern Theatre

General Theatre Resources

We hope you enjoyed this visit to the history of theatre. Please feel free to use this information as you need it, and share with others who wish to learn more about the history of the theatre.