Theatre and Film

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Theatre and film are two related entertainment genres sharing common themes - the telling of a story and the revelation of character. But, with their similarities, comes their differences. Theatre, like all performing arts, takes place in time, as well as space. We use the word “theatre” to describe activity in daily life. Acting is also part of our everyday lives; we describe our behaviors in our professional and personal spheres as if we were performers on the stage of life. Furthermore, theatricality is all around in many of the popular art forms that engage us. These art forms consist of theatre, film, and television. The relationship between the three of these is very apparent. On television, we see a wide range of dramatic offerings: daytime soap operas; nighttime situation comedies; hospital and police shows; and news documentaries. Moreover, movies provide dramatic material of many kinds. Theatre also informs rock and roll in a variety of ways; current rock concerts are often highly theatrical events, using live performers, lights, sound, costumes, and props that are multimedia stage presentations. Altogether, we have come to expect theatricality as part of popular entertainment. But, as stated before, theatre and film operate differently from each other. The differences of theatre and film are as follows: theatre originated in ancient religious ceremonies; film originated in the early 20th century, and Western Theatre, as we know it today, directly descended from the Greek festival of Dionysus. Furthermore, theatre performances are live; film performances are recorded. Theatre intimacy is present; film intimacy is gained through camera angles and close ups. With theatre, there is a connection with the audience; film has no direct connection with the audience. In theatre, spectacle may be present and each performance is unique and different, whereas with film, spectacle is often present and each performance is identical. Lastly, in...
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