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Rehearsing a play in a theatreRehearsing a play in a theatre Theatre is the performance by actors of a play to an audience. The actors work together to make the play as realistic and believable as possible, using speech, movement, gesture, performance and sometimes music, song and dance to make the characters and story come alive. In a good play, the audience believes that they are seeing a true situation in front of their eyes, even though they know that it is only a play, not real life. Plays can be funny or sad, thought-provoking or light-hearted. The greatest actors dominate the stage with their skill and presence, giving a performance that the audience will remember forever.

Plays and stages

A cutaway illustration of a theatreA cutaway illustration of a theatreA drama is a play, often of several acts, that tackles serious subjects. Other types of plays include comedies, tragedies and musical theatre, which combines words with song and often dance. In a theatre, the audience sits in the auditorium. The action takes place on stage. Most plays are performed on a proscenium stage. Here, the audience views the actors through a large proscenium arch, a little like a picture frame. Some theatre stages are in the round, where the stage is set in the middle of the theatre and the audience surrounds it on all sides. Theatre in the round closely involves the audience in the play. A thrust stage extends into the audience on three sides, the fourth side remaining connected to the proscenium stage.

The main type of play is called a drama, a word that comes from the Greek word for "action".  

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