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The Theatre Portal

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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Ralph Richardson in 1949
Ralph Richardson (1902–1983) was an English actor who played more than sixty film roles and, along with his contemporaries John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. In 1931 he joined the Old Vic, playing mostly Shakespearean roles. He led the company the following season, succeeding Gielgud, who had taught him much about stage technique. After he left the company, a series of leading roles took him to stardom in the West End and on Broadway. In the 1940s, Richardson was the co-director of the Old Vic company. He and Olivier led the company to Europe and Broadway in 1945 and 1946. In the 1950s, in the West End and occasionally on tour, Richardson played in modern and classic works including The Heiress, Home at Seven and Three Sisters. Richardson was cast in leading roles in British and American films including Things to Come in the 1930s, The Fallen Idol and The Heiress in the 1940s, and Long Day's Journey into Night and Doctor Zhivago in the 1960s. He received nominations and awards in the UK, Europe and the US for his stage and screen work from 1948 until his sudden death at the age of eighty, and earned a posthumous Academy Award nomination for his final film, Greystoke.

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The business of the dramatist is to keep out of sight and let nothing appear but his characters. — Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay

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