Theater (from the Greek θέατρον, théatron, 'place of public spectacle', from the verb θεάομαι, theàomai, 'I observe', 'I look', the same root as theoreo, hence 'theory') is a set of different disciplines, which come together and realize the execution of a spectacular live event.
At the origins of theater there is the human aspiration to make the relationship with the divinities tangible, through the representation of the sacred in rites and dances, and at the same time the need to entertain and define social relationships, through the form of the party and playful fiction.
The discovery of a papyrus in 1928 by Kurt Sethe demonstrated how, a thousand years before the birth of the Greek tragedy, theater was practiced in ancient Egypt in the form of the cult of the "Mysteries of Osiris". From archeology it is also known how the Minoan civilization knew the use of musical instruments, such as the zither and the flute, and how the art of dance was already practiced as mimicry of hunting or war actions.
The theater includes the arts through which a story (a drama, a word deriving from the Greek verb δραω drao act) is represented in the form of a recited text or scenic dramatization. A theatrical performance takes place in front of an audience using a variable combination of words, gestures, music, dance, vocality, sound and, potentially, any other element coming from the other performing arts.
The presence of a text is not always necessary: the movement of the body in a space with artistic and illustrative purposes, performed in front of a spectator, is defined in itself as theater. In addition to the prose theater in which the word (written or improvised) is the most important element, the theater can have different forms the Chinese opera, the puppet theater, the pantomime, which differ not only by area of birth, but for the different use both of the components that make up the representation, and for the artistic purposes that they define.
The particular art of representing a story by means of a text or stage action is acting, or dramatic art.
In many languages such as French (jouer), English (to play), Russian (играть - pron. Igrat '), German (spielen), Hungarian (játszik) the verb "to recite" coincides with the verb " to play". The Italian term, on the other hand, places the accent on fiction, on the repetition of the gesture or word or, according to other etymological explanations, it derives from a term used to indicate rhetoric, and therefore the ability to convince the public.
Like any other artistic and cultural form, theater has also evolved from its origins to today, in different eras and places. The history of Western theater places theatrical representation in the culture of ancient Greece as the origin of this discipline: the previous theatrical examples (Egypt, Etruria and others) help us to understand the birth of this genre, but there are not sufficient sources to delineate it. features.
From Aristotle to today, the term has undergone various interpretations and developments, and it is certain that the debate around an exhaustive definition of the theatrical event will continue in the future.
Summarizing the points of convergence of the different teachings that have crossed contemporary theater in recent decades, we can find common elements for a definition: theater is that event that occurs whenever there is a relationship between at least one who acts live in a stage space and a spectator who follows the actions live.
Silvio D'Amico precisely defined theater as «the communion of an audience with a living show».
In a broad sense, it can also take place outside the usual spaces, in any place where it is possible to tell a story or attract the attention of an audience.
The elements essential