We go to the theatre to see a play, that is to say, a performance given by actors and actresses. A play of a serious character, dealing with important human problems is called a tragedy. A play of a humorous, lighter character is a comedy (or a farce).
Dramatists are called playwrights nowadays and there are no longer such great dramatists as Shakespeare or G. B. Show.
If we want to go to a theatre we buy tickets at the box-office and show them to the attendant at the entrance. In the building there is a hall, a large foyer and a cloak-room where we leave our overcoats, hats, etc. The audience can walk in the foyer in the intervals.
Many doors lead to the auditorium consisting of stalls, boxes and balconies. In front of the auditorium there is a curtain separating it from the stage. The curtain rises when the play begins and falls at the end of each act.
Many people must work together to produce a play. The author writes it; the producer conducts the acting; carpenters, mechanics, designers prepare the scenery; electricians and light operators see to the light effects and operate the floodlights. We, the playgoers (or fans) demand an interesting plot, good acting, impressive scenery – that is two hours of good entertainment.