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Ancient Greece theatre in Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music, and dance. It is the oldest form of drama, though live theatre has now been joined by modern recorded forms. Elements of art, such as painted scenery and stagecraft such as lighting are used to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience. Places, normally buildings, where performances regularly take place are also called "theatres" (or "theaters"), as derived from the Ancient Greek θέατρον (théatron, "a place for viewing"), itself from θεάομαι (theáomai, "to see", "to watch", "to observe").

A theatre company is an organisation that produces theatrical performances, as distinct from a theatre troupe (or acting company), which is a group of theatrical performers working together. (Full article...)

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Avery Hopwood
The Demi-Virgin is a three-act play written by Avery Hopwood (pictured). Producer Albert H. Woods staged it on Broadway, where it was one of the most successful plays of the 1921–22 season. The play is a bedroom farce about former couple Gloria Graham and Wally Deane, both movie actors, whose marriage was so brief that the press speculated about whether Gloria was still a virgin. Because it contained suggestive dialog and women in the cast wore revealing clothes, the production was considered highly risqué at the time. The script alluded to a contemporary scandal involving actor Fatty Arbuckle, and one scene featured actresses stripping as part of a card game. Reviewers generally panned the play as unfunny and vulgar. A magistrate ruled the play was obscene, and obscenity charges were brought against Woods, but a grand jury declined to indict him. Woods promoted the controversy to increase ticket sales. The play had no long-term literary impact and was never published, but it did stimulate arguments over censorship of theatrical performances.

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Ichikawa Danjūrō I as Takenuki Goro

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William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, dramatist, mystic and public figure. Yeats was one of the driving forces behind the Irish Literary Revival and was co-founder of the Abbey Theatre. His early work tended towards a romantic lushness and dreamlike quality best described by the title of his 1893 collection The Celtic Twilight, but in his forties, inspired by his relationships with modernist poets such as Ezra Pound and his active involvement in Irish nationalism, he moved towards a harder, more modern style. As well as his role as member of the board of the Abbey, Yeats served as an Irish Senator. He took his role as a public figure seriously and was a reasonably hard-working member of the Seanad. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 for what the Nobel Committee described as "his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation".

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In order to fully realize how bad a popular play can be, it is necessary to see it twice. — George Bernard Shaw

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