Theatre (also theater in American English) is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance. Elements of design and stagecraft 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”) and θεάομαι (theáomai, “to see", "to watch", "to observe”).
Modern Western theatre derives in large measure from ancient Greek drama, from which it borrows technical terminology, classification into genres, and many of its themes, stock characters, and plot elements. Theatre scholar Patrice Pavis defines theatricality, theatrical language, stage writing, and the specificity of theatre as synonymous expressions that differentiate theatre from the other performing arts, literature, and the arts in general.
Theatre today includes performances of plays and musicals. Although it can be defined broadly to include opera and ballet, those art forms are outside the scope of this article.
Theatre took a big pause during 1642 and 1660 in England because of Cromwell’s Interregnum. Theatre was seen as something sinful and the Puritans tried very hard to drive it out of their society. Because of this stagnant period, once Charles II came back to the throne in 1660 in the Restoration, theatre (among other arts) exploded because of a lot of influence from France, where Charles was in exile the years previous to his reign.
One of the big changes was the new theatre house. Instead of the types in the Elizabethan era that were like the Globe, round with no place for the actors to really prep for the next act and with no “theater manners,” it transformed into a place of refinement, with a stage in front and somewhat stadium seating in front of it. This way, seating was more prioritized because some seats were obviously better than others because the seating was no longer all the way around the stage. The king would have the best seat in the house: the very middle of the theatre, which got the widest view of the stage as well as the best way to see the point of view and vanishing point that the stage was constructed around. Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg was one of the most influential set designers of the time because of his use of floor space and scenery.