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Introduction to Theatre Online Course

Dr. Eric W. Trumbull, Professor, Theatre/Speech

This page last modified: November 16, 2007

Theatre as Performance

Objectives for this lesson:

Students will examine:

characteristics of performance

types of performances

the nature of theatre as performance




Requires an audience a group of individuals gathered together at a certain time and place for no purpose other than to see the performance (though some may be doing other things: placing bets, writing reviews, wasting time, etc.) that is aware of itself as a group.


Types of performances: movie, dance, tv, opera, music, salesmen, preachers (?), teachers, drill sergeants -- all are theatrical / theatre-like.

Kinds of arts: dance, music, movies, tv, opera, painting, architecture, graphic arts, literature, performance art -- theatre.     Take a look at this chart comparing: Theatre vs. other arts

Kinds of Stages: Location can shape many aspects of a performance. This presentation looks at different kinds of stages:
Stage Spaces

{Top of Page}

Important terms:



Types of Stages (Wilson & Goldfarb, Chapter 4):

proscenium (traditional)

arena (in-the-round)

thrust (three-quarter round)

environmental / found spaces

"black box"

Parts of the stage (also from From Wilson, Chapter 15)


rake (as in "raked stage")



fly loft


"fourth wall"

Click here for a short study quiz on this lesson...

Next Section: Theatre's Special Qualities



This page and all linked pages in this directory are copyrighted Eric W. Trumbull, 1998-2007.

This page last modified: November 16, 2007