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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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Richard Mansfield as Jekyll and Hyde
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a four-act play written by Thomas Russell Sullivan in collaboration with the actor Richard Mansfield (pictured). It is an adaptation of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, an 1886 novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. The story focuses on the respected London doctor Henry Jekyll, who uses a potion to transform into Edward Hyde, a loathsome criminal. Intrigued by the opportunity to play a dual role, Mansfield secured the stage rights and asked Sullivan to write the adaptation. The play debuted in Boston on May 9, 1887, then opened on Broadway in September of that year. Mansfield's performance as the dual character was acclaimed by critics. The play opened in London in August 1888, just before the first Jack the Ripper murders. Some press reports compared the murderer to the Jekyll-Hyde character, and Mansfield was suggested as a possible suspect. Mansfield's company continued to perform the play in the US until shortly before his death in 1907. Sullivan made changes from Stevenson's story that have been adopted by many subsequent adaptations, including several film versions that were derived from the play.

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Frank Matcham
Frank Matcham (1854–1920) was an English theatre architect and designer. During his 40-year career, he was responsible for the design and construction of over 90 theatres and the redesign and refurbishment of a further 80 throughout the United Kingdom. Matcham was best known for his work in London, under Moss Empires, which included the designs of the Hippodrome (1900), Hackney Empire (1901), London Coliseum (1903), London Palladium (1910), and Victoria Palace (1911). According to the dramatist Alan Bennett, there was a Matcham theatre in every corner of the UK. Matcham's use of cantilevers for the galleries allowed him to discontinue the use of columns, which would otherwise obstruct the audience's view of the stage. The auditorium decorations were often mixed with Tudor strap-work, Louis XIV detail, Anglo-Indian motifs, naval and military insignia, rococo panels, classical statuary, and baroque columns.

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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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