The term “Theater” comes from the Greek θέατρον ( théatron ), which means show. It is a set of arts (speech, gestures, music, dance, vocality and sound) that converge in the recitation of a text or scenic dramatization, representing a story (a drama in the etymological sense of the term) in front of an audience , with the creation, that is, of a live spectacular event. Performances have been added to the classical concept of theater today, which go beyond the strict need for a text and an acting, as simple movements of the body, or something else, represented in front of even a single spectator is considered theater.
In fact, arising from the modern debate, the definition of Theater can be conceived as follows:
“theater is that event that occurs whenever there is a relationship between at least one actor who acts live in a stage space and a spectator who follows the actions live . ”
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Despite the creation of several buildings or sites for theatrical use, there is no specific place for scenic action, but it can take place in any place where it is possible to tell a story to an audience.
The theatrical event is distinguished as such by the conscious presence of a character or mask, of a space, more or less delimited, and of a time span in which the recitation of a story takes place (given by the duration of a text or a gestural score).In reality, theatrical improvisation modifies these elements, even if it is agreed that the actor is facilitated in improvising only if it is based on a scheme, however elementary it may be. It is, in fact, since its historical beginnings that the finiteness of a script for stage action has made the theatrical form differentiate itself from other everyday events, distinguishing it as art.
The theater, beyond the prose theater, with the recitation of a text, also presents different forms both for typology, for the time of creation, and for the places or for the purposes for which the representation takes place. Thus we find opera, dance-theater, kabuki, katakali dance, Chinese opera, puppet theater and pantomime.
The most characterizing element is acting (dramatic art).The way of conceiving it is different as the country varies. In Northern Europe the term recitation is translated into “play”, jouer in France, in English ( to play ), in Russian (играть – pron. Igra’t ), in German ( spielen ). In Italy, however, attention is paid to the fiction and repetition of the text: re-citare (“citare twice”).
Even the theater, created in ancient times, has evolved and changed over time. It seems that in Egypt the theater was practiced within the cult of the “Mysteries of Osiris”, while in the Minoan civilization they were represented by miming hunts and wars, dancing to the sound of the lyre and the flute.
But although there are traces of an Egyptian or Etruscan theater, it is agreed that Western theater was born culturally and in fact by the ancient Greeks.