Student Guide on Writing Essay About Theatre

While in college, each student must at some point have to write an essay. There are different types of essays: augmentative, descriptive, descriptive, expository, narrative, and persuasive. This article features an essay about theatre. When you get such an essay, you must have a clear outline and impressive ideas you need to put down. Read on to understand more about theatre essays.

What are some of the argumentative essay topics about theatre?

Before we dive deep into more information about theatre essays, let us highlight some of the possible topics under the theatre theme. These topics will give a clear guide on approaching any given topic, despite its intended purpose. Below are some of the topics you can expect.

  • The Seats Placement in a Theatre
  • What does it take for a Theatre Production to be Successful?
  • How did Globe Theatre come into Being?
  • A visit to Roman Theatre
  • Drama in the United States of America
  • How are Theatres Characterized?
  • What does it take to be a producer or an Actor?
  • Should Theatres enforce censorship?

Well, there are many other Augmentative theatre essays you will come across; these are simply some of them to give you an idea of what it takes to write a college essay about theatre.

How to Write an Essay About Theatre

Like other essays, an essay on theatre also requires a clear plan and structure, explaining each section in detail. Below is the format you can follow when you have a theatre essay topic to write on.

Pre-writing Stage

Under this stage, you need to read and evaluate all the instructions. Never skip this stage because you might end up doing the wrong thing and wasting time and energy. Besides, who wants to fail? Well, none! So read the requirements carefully!

After you have evaluated and understood all the requirements, define your topic. If you have the freedom to choose a topic, you must think of several ideas before settling on a given topic. Some ways to get a perfect topic are discussing with an instructor, reviewing already existing materials, or freewriting. 

Other aspects to note while choosing the topic include your interests and uniqueness.

Finally, check if the topic meets all the guidelines and requirements from the instructor. This is a vital step because it will guide you in the right direction.

After you are done with topic selection, perform quick research, but not a final essay. This is a simple guide that will push you through writing your paper.

Writing Stage

At this point, you have a topic, and you have performed some preliminary research. Now, get reliable sources regarding your topic, where you will get your content. Among the material you gather, ensure some explain the importance of theatre because you will have to answer such questions at some point in your writing. We have different approaches to follow when looking for incredible sources; you can check in the library, consult your tutor, or use the internet.

As you do your research, make sure you understand the importance of theatre in society because most questions will revolve around community and theatre at large.

Finally, it is now time to write a thesis statement. This statement carries all the weight of the essay, and it should reflect back to the paper’s purpose. Make the thesis short, precise, and clear to the point.

When you have your thesis statement clearly defined, start writing the main essay.  In this context, remember to explain the purpose of theatre as it will help you generate more content in a flowing manner. The structure of the essay includes an introduction, the thesis statement, main body, and a conclusion

Here is a sample essay on the topic “Theatre”. Use it as inspiration for your own writing.

An Introduction to Theatre


The following essay will discuss theatre, as the audio visual engagement between a performer and the audience. It will explain what theater is, including its origins and how it has adapted over time. In teaching how and why we have theatre, examples will be used from productions seen in class. In conclusion this essay will explain why theater continues to remain relevant in today’s society.

Keywords: theater, performance, actor, audience, visual, movement, sound, expression 

Theater is a form of art appreciated and practiced universally across all cultures and societies. Bringing to life collaborative performances of sound and movement, it allows the audience to experience first hand the creative expression of the performer. Theatre is an effective way to communicate a story and create sensory stimulation. Building atmosphere through a shared visual and audio experience, the engagement between the audience and performer is of mutual benefit. While the audience is entertained, the performer reciprocates feeding off the crowds reactions.

The origins of theater in the Western world date back to ancient Greek civilization. In Athens Greece, the God Dionysus was honored with dramatic plays depicting both comedies and tragedies. Greek mythology labeled him as the God of fertility, and creator of wine. The many celebrations and performances in his name, attributed to his title as patron for the arts. 

Before the days of elaborate costumes and special effects, masks were used to distinguish between characters. Derived from ancient rituals and festivals performed before an audience, accompanied by a chorus of singers, actions depicted movements to shadow the words of songs. Traditionally only men performed, playing the roles of both male and female. The original protagonists of Greek theatre were solo performers, acting out poetry to the accompaniment of a chorus, who helped explain the story. Not until the 4th Century BC was a second actor introduced, meaning a dialogue between the two could be carried out. 

Plays were performed in front of thousands of spectators in a theatron. This was a large building without a roof, usually built on the slopes of a hill. This catered well to the tiered seating, which helped amplify sound. The architectural design provided an echo off the hills sides, to the semi circle structure. The acoustics effectively enabled the entire audience to hear the plays from anywhere in the theatre. Today’s modern theatres still often follow the proscenium arch, allowing for raised level seating to project sound and maximize the visual viewing point.

Deriving from Greek origin, the word theatre translates as “to see” signifying the significance of the stage to the audience. A platform, created on which to draw the viewer into the world of the actor. Today’s modern theatre productions encompass a much broader range of genres than the traditional Tragedy, Comedy and Satyr of ancient Greek times. Yet still prevalent, is the underlying tone that theater helps people understand each other.

Lynn Nottage’s play Sweat, (viewed at Studio 54) does just that, taking us inside the lives of a group of factory workers whose passion for chasing the American dream is slowly evaporating. There is no glitz and glamour to the story line. It is a serving of self reflection and interaction between characters who suddenly find their jobs and livelihood at risk. It deals with a web of bubbling emotions, entwined in a backdrop of social and economic issues. 

Nottage presents characters struggling to hold onto their identity, brimming with heart ache and regret, and tinged with the stain of poverty. Reminiscent of Death of a Salesman, it too deals with the harsh realities of an evolving workplace, an economic turn down, and those who get squeezed out of the rat race.

The primary stage setting revolves around a Pennsylvanian bar, frequented by blue collared work mates. Immediately evoking flash backs to the 80’s American sitcom Cheers, I formed the distinct impression that this too is a place where “everybody knows your name”. Parallels can also be drawn upon whether this familiarity is a good thing, or whether it serves to hold them back in the same mundane routine.

This play is about bold humanity and diversity, bringing a voice to a section of society often overlooked. The play serves to teach that while different and unique, we all hurt the same. It sheds a spotlight on racial tension and friendships, addressing issues very prevalent in America today. 

The only criticism I found of the ensemble of actors, was at times they appeared to be trying too hard to deliver their solo lines. The delivery of their monologues sometimes lacked authenticity, instead coming across as a polished performance, rather than a true outburst of emotion. 

Another play we saw in class was Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. This was an example of how theater has the power to breathe life into words, as the stage and setting were just as integral to the story as the script. Beckett is very particular on the delivery of his play, insisting it be performed exactly as he has written it. (it is even noted so by his estate, with the intention that his instructions continued to be followed after his death) Not taking kindly to improvisation or suggestions from directors upon his work, Beckett insists “My play requires an empty room and two small windows”.

The result is a striped back set, which makes clever use of lighting creating empty shadows and conveying a feeling of loneliness. The two windows feel like a symbol for eyes, looking out to the world beyond, and behind which contains the internal constraints of the mind. Likewise the two garbage cans out of which appear Hamm’s legless parents, is a skilled use of costume design, adding another layer of depth to the way in which the audience views his characters. It had me questioning how Beckett wished for the viewer to interpret Hamm’s relationship with his parents. Whether the rubbish bins indicated Hamm placed little value on his Mother and Father, or instead represented how he defined the worthlessness of old age, there is no denying the props and setting are vital to adding context and meaning to the complexities of this intriguing piece of theatre.

Endgame is essentially a play where nothing happens, fill of hopelessness and despair. Hamm is the heartless and demanding master, who can not see or stand. Clov is his faithful and resentful servant, who is unable to sit. Essentially Hamm is both the eyes and legs for Clov, who in return provides him with food and accommodation. Despite Hamm’s constant taunting, Clov never follows through on his threats to leave. Their relationship is one of mutual dependency, despite their obvious loathing of each other. A balancing scale of power dynamics, they appear to almost feed off each other’s bleak outlook on life, as they stress over the meaning of their existence. 

Hamm is an insensitive character. A broken man, he remains cold and emotionless throughout the entire play. Even the death of his Mother does not appear to sadden him or evoke any type of reaction. Yet despite his apparent inability to care for those around him, it is apparent that he shares a special bond with his servant Clov. For while Hamm is all alone in the world, wallowing in self pity and eagerly awaiting his death, his one constant is Clov. 

Filled with hints of symbolism, even the name of the one act play is a clever metaphor. Ham, Clov, Nagg and Nell appear to be the last pawn pieces remaining in the game of life. Likewise their names have been assigned with equal thought, signifying a double meaning of what they may represent in the wider scope of the world. Endgame left me thinking if you are truly living when you are already dead inside.

Of all the theater productions viewed as a class, this one had the biggest impact upon me. I credit this to Beckett’s ability to really get inside the head of his audience and make them think. His characters contained a lot of depth, and watching the subtleties in the actor’s delivery, the tone in their voices, the slightest gesture between them, continued to have my mind ticking over to exactly what was the true message behind this play, long after I left my seat in the audience. 

Though theater has the power to evoke emotions and bring to life the words of a script, it encompasses much more than just written dialogue. Theater is also about stage presence, the power of the voice, and the ability to express ourselves through body movement. Theatre allows a platform not just for actors, but for singers and dancers to also perform, breathing life into stories accompanied by music.

Godspell is a biblical musical by John-Michael Tebelak, which I viewed as a student production. I found this a befitting choice for the college ensemble, as this play is often performed by amateur groups, perhaps influenced by its lack of technical demands

Filled with vibrant musical numbers, the characters are portrayed as quite eccentric in their comedic interpretations of the Gospel. The song lyrics while structured around traditional hymns are accompanied by often ruckus music with a modern day twist.

The songs are up beat with a catchy vibe, and the viewer will find themselves unknowingly tapping their foot and wanting to sing along. The musical numbers were definitely the hero of this play. For when the songs stopped and the actors launched into their monologues and hyperactive skits, it was an effort to not zone out. For fear of disappointing its huge cult following of fans, I reluctantly admit this was not my cup of tea. To be honest there was something so jovial about their jester like facials, that it kind of irritated me. In true dramatic style, there were over the top displays of heightened emotions. Yet while entertaining, they failed to stir any real feeling or provoke deep thought.

We also had the opportunity to enjoy a dance performance by the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Taylor is a talented artist whose skills in choreography allow the actors to tell a story through dance and movements. 

Interpretive dance is performed to a back drop of live music, show casing many of the elements that can only be experienced in live theatre. Taylor’s performers use their whole body, manipulated into clever shapes and positions, poised with grace and skill, while like dominos they perfectly align with one another to tell their story. Their timing is impeccable, their movements defined, an incredible display of skill and talent.

I remember the actors trying to intimidate nature and animals in a piece entitled Summerspace. (which Taylor originally created in 1958) More than fifty years later, it still has the power to captivate an audience. Their steps are perfectly calculated to allow just the right amount of space, creating an illusion of continuous movement. It signified the connection between all living things in an endless cycle.

The actor’s movements reminded me of lightweight birds flying through the sky. Elegant yet powerful, they captivated the audience as they submerged into nature. The costumes were nude bodysuits with splashes of paint, helping to showcase the human body in its natural form, and giving definition to each gesture. They two mean also appeared as animals jumping around, superbly mastering the fiendishly difficult maneuvers effortlessly.

The music was played live by an orchestra, where only the pianist was heard. In fact, he did not play combined notes on the piano’s keys, instead playing one single key each time. This was an interesting concept, used to build anticipation and maximize the dramatic effect. Personally I would have preferred music playing throughout. I feel this would have helped arise more senses. 

Overall the arrangements were fantastic. Visual buffets of viewing pleasure, the pieces are ambitious performances with majestic presence. Everything feels genuine. Each movement inspired by the music, exquisitely executed. The contrasting elements between humans and nature, perfectly submerged in an illustration of statuesque beauty.

Theatre is not just a form of creative expression and entertainment, but a way to pass down stories and traditions, effectively influencing and shaping our culture. Theatre has the ability to both teach and influence its audience. It can also take the viewer on a magical journey, allowing them an in-depth glance inside another world. Theatre helps us understand the intimate relationships between people, allowing for a freedom of expression and a way in which to celebrate our uniqueness. Theatre encompasses music and dance, lighting and sound, letting our written words transcend from the page to the stage. Theatre is a way in which our stories are shared, not just through spoken word, but through the tones in our voices, the intimacy of our facial expressions, and the interpretation of our body language. 

Shakespeare popular phrase, “All the world’s a stage” (William Shakespeare – As You Like It) famously drew a comparison between our lives as a play, and the world as stage on which to perform on. Marking our entrance at birth, and our exit upon death, he likened the various stages we all go through in life, as different characters we play.

To appreciate theatre and its ongoing relevance in today’s society, is essentially a step in understanding who we are as people. Theatre is timeless. It continues to evolve as do we. For this reason it will remain an important staple, in shaping, influencing and explaining our culture.


Damen; Mark. Section 1: “The Origins of Western Theatre.” Chapter 2: “The Origins of Theatre and Drama.” Classical Drama and Society. (03 June 2010)

Shakespear;William. “As You Like It.” Act 11 – Scene VI. 


Theatre studies and essay writing along theatre ideas can be a bit complex. To put up the best paper, you will need to understand other disciplines such as literature, psychology, English, and many others. However, you can write the best theatre essay by following this guide with the right mindset and approach.