Portal:Theatre

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The Theatre Portal

Ancient Greece theatre in Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music, and dance. Elements of art, such as painted scenery and stagecraft such as lighting are used to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience. The specific place of the performance is also named by the word "theatre" as derived from the Ancient Greek θέατρον (théatron, "a place for viewing"), itself from θεάομαι (theáomai, "to see", "to watch", "to observe").

Modern theatre includes performances of plays and musical theatre. The art forms of ballet and opera are also theatre and use many conventions such as acting, costumes and staging. They were influential to the development of musical theatre; see those articles for more information. (Full article...)

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Francis Bacon
The Shakespeare authorship question is the argument, first raised in the 19th century, that someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him. All but a few Shakespeare scholars and literary historians consider it a fringe belief. Anti-Stratfordians believe that Shakespeare was a front to shield the identity of the real author or authors, who for some reason did not want or could not accept public credit. The controversy has spawned a vast body of literature, and more than 80 authorship candidates have been proposed, the most popular being Francis Bacon (pictured), Edward de Vere, Christopher Marlowe, and William Stanley. To the claim that Shakespeare lacked sufficient education, aristocratic sensibility, or familiarity with the royal court for a writer of such eminence and genius, scholars reply that there is much documentary evidence supporting his authorship—title pages, testimony by contemporary poets and historians, official records—and none supporting any other candidate.

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Comédie-Française in the 18th century

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Noël Coward, c. 1920s
Noël Coward (1899–1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise". Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. Many of his works, such as Hay Fever, Private Lives, Design for Living, Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit, have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. He composed hundreds of songs, in addition to well over a dozen musical theatre works (including the operetta Bitter Sweet and comic revues), poetry, several volumes of short stories, the novel Pomp and Circumstance, and a three-volume autobiography. Coward's stage and film acting and directing career spanned six decades, during which he starred in many of his own works. Coward won an Academy Honorary Award in 1943 for his naval film drama, In Which We Serve, and was knighted in 1969. In the 1950s he achieved fresh success as a cabaret performer, performing his own songs, such as "Mad Dogs and Englishmen", "London Pride" and "Don't Let's Be Beastly to the Germans". His plays and songs achieved new popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, and his work and style continue to influence popular culture.

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August Strindberg
A playwright is a lay preacher peddling the ideas of his time in popular form.

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Christopher Marlowe

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