A brief history behind the origin and the development of the theatre in general

Theater, which is also spelt as theatre, is basically a building or a space in which performance always takes place before the audience.

 It has come from the Greek word “theatron”, meaning a place of seeing’. Since ancient times a conventional theatre has been all about the stage area where the performance takes place. Through so many years, the concept of the theatre has evolved a lot based on the spectators’ requirements regarding the changing nature of the pattern and the activity presented. In this article, we’ll try to summarize this process of revolution through some points.

Let’s find out the origin of where it has started.

So much evidence was found where it has been well clarified that the concept of theatre has emerged from the practice of religious rituals. For example, we can talk about the evidence coming from the civilizations of the Mediterranean basin, the Far East, northern Europe, and the Western Hemisphere. The ancestors used to make the campfire circles where the elite or the respected people of the society were allowed to participate in some tribal rituals. Countries like Egypt, Persia and Crete have shown so much architectural evidence from which it has been clear that these places were structurally ceremonial and made to accommodate a huge audience. These places were predominantly used by the priestly class to perform some supernatural activities. From these priestly rituals, the concept of drama has approached, and the distinction between the performers and the audiences is made. Through this process of evolution, the performers and the priests were set apart, and the contemporary form of theatre emerged.

Few of the developments took place in Greece.

At the early stage, the development was started in ancient Greece during the time of the first actor of the theatre named Thespis, who came to Athens with his troupe around 534 BCE. Then, the performance used to take place in the market area and the audience were offered to sit on the wooden stands. In 498 BCE, the stands collapsed, and many spectators were killed. Few survived in the theatres, and later these were played afterwards. In 330 BCE, the concepts and the structures were remodelled, and the construction was made in stone on the south slope of Acropolis. In this structure, the centre of the theatre was a circular space predominantly for the holy image to be carried during the festivals. So, it is clear that for a long time after the emergence, the drama was not entirely free from religion.

I hope it is informative enough to enlighten you regarding this topic. Don’t forget to share your knowledge and your feedback is very important as always.


Sohini is a journalism and mass communication enthusiast from Kolkata with an extreme interest in creative writing. Focused on entertainment, health and lifestyle, her stories could make your net surfing much more interesting.
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