Science fiction theatre includes live dramatic works, but generally not cinema or television programmes. It has long been overshadowed by its literary and broadcast counterparts, but has a long history, and via the play R.U.R. introduced the word robot into global usage.
Ralph Willingham in his 1993 study Science Fiction and the Theatre catalogued 328 plays with sf elements, several of which were adaptations. Christos Callow Jr created the Internet Science Fiction Theatre Database in 2018 including mainly 21st century plays that feature elements of science fiction, fantasy and horror. In addition to productions of individual plays, the science fiction theatre festival Sci-Fest LA was launched in Los Angeles in 2014, and the festivals of Otherworld and Talos: Science Fiction Theatre Festival of London were both launched in 2015 in Chicago and in London, UK respectively.
Posle milijon godina (After Million of Years), written by Dragutin Ilić in 1889, is considered the first science fiction theatrical play in the history of the world literature.
There is generally little research on science fiction theatre. A notable exception is "Science Fiction and the Theatre" by Ralph Willingham and the international conference series on science fiction theatre, "Stage the Future." Other research projects include the Robot Theatre project by Louise LePage.