Watch a brief animated history of theater.
Hey let’s put on a show! That’s theater, folks, and it’s like a human thing! Humans all over the world do plays and puppet shows and pantomimes and musicals – and it’s all theater!
People just want to tell stories and what better way to do that than to get your stage and your audience and your actors and your script and lights and sets and costumes and go for it!
Now depending on where you are in the world theater’s gonna be different. Like in Japan they use lots of makeup and masks for Kabuki and Noh theater and they have these awesome puppet shows called Bunraku where the puppeteers dress like all in black and stand on stage holding the puppets – it’s like they are there but they’re not there – weird! In China the opera goes totally wild with the makeup too. The actors look really fierce and mean and beautiful all at the same time! In the island country of Bali they put candles behind a piece of cloth and use puppets to act out plays – all you see is the shadow so they’re called shadow puppets – duh!
Now here in the western part of the world we go more for like realistic type theater – like normal looking people on a stage talking to each other, ya know? But we also like to mix it up so really anything goes. As usual we hafta thank those old Greeks from way back in the day because they invented the whole idea of comedy and tragedy and they even wrote some plays that we still put on today!
And of course Shakespeare – without him we wouldn’t have Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet or Macbeth or any of those other characters that have been around for like years and years and years. So if you go to the theater nowadays you might see a very, very old play like a Greek tragedy or a Shakespearian comedy or a new Broadway musical or a French farce or a murder mystery or a bunch of guys all painted blue. Whatever – when the house lights go down and the curtain goes up and the actors are right there in front of you – it’s theater and it’s awesome!