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Definition: theatre or US theater from

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary

1. a building or area outside specially designed for the performance of plays and operas, etc.
2. a large room with seats rising in tiers, eg for lectures.
3. (also the theatre) the writing and production of plays in general.
4. (the theatre) the world and profession of actors and theatre companies.
5. British a specially equipped room in a hospital where surgery is performed.
6. a scene of action or place where events take place theatre of war.
7. N American a cinema.

[14c: from Greek theatron, from theaesthai to see.]

Summary Article: Theatre from Bloomsbury Guide to Human Thought
Theatre (from the Greek ‘seeing-place’) has extended from being a reference to the buildings or space within which drama can take place to encompass the range of phenomena which constitute the relationship between an audience and a performance. Theatre is a social institution which operates on social interaction in its production processes. It is also a social activity which includes those involved in the production process as well as with the spectator/spectator and spectator/performance exchange.The social nature of Western theatre, which derives from the Greek pattern of celebration and demonstration of the ties of a community, has become more complex in contemporary society and, since the Renaissance, has a more economic base in both mainstream and alternative theatres.The earlier concept that theatre was to entertain or instruct was beginning to be challenged towards the end of the 19th century by the concept that the...    Continue Reading

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