Who Created Theater?


Who Created Theater?

Jaycie Joplin, Contributor

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Did you know that the word theater comes from an ancient Greek word meaning a ‘place for seeing’? Theater dates back thousands of years and it is very hard to figure out who originally made it. There are a lot of people that have impacted theater, but here are the most impactful people to theater.


The Greeks:

The Greeks invented theater. Although we don’t know who exactly, we do know that the Greeks have been the most impactful to the theater. Theater for the Greeks started as honoring the Greek gods as described in Greek Mythology and was part of festivals. The festivals had groups of men and boys perform dances and songs for others. By the 6th Century BCE, the Greeks were building theaters where people could attend the performances.


William Shakespeare:

Most modern storytelling and phrases can be traced back to William Shakespeare. The way that his plots moved forward has helped define modern playwriting. For example, his complex characterizations made a new type of storytelling that made the character’s choices drive the plot forward. Because of that, his plays are dynamic and the characters go threw a significant amount of change throughout the play. He was also credited with inventing genres that mixed both tragedy and comedy making brand-new experiences of storytelling and theater.


George M. Cohan:

George M. Cohan is also known as the father of American musical comedy. He was an American actor, popular songwriter, playwright, and producer (mainly producing musical comedies) and he became famous as the “Yankee Doodle Dandy” because of his song about the first world war. And he has a movie called Yankee Doodle Dandy that was made in 1942. He was a big help in creating Broadway, Broadway was created before he was born, but he was one person that helped get it more successful.

All of these people have been very impactful to the theater and there are others that didn’t make it onto this list. Like Bob Fosse, a very successful choreographer-director and creator of Jazz Hands. If you would like to support our theater department you should go and see Willy Wonka on April 21st and April 22nd at EHS.