A form of theatrical performance and presentation in outdoor public spaces.
Street theatre is a form of theatrical performance and presentation in outdoor public spaces without a specific paying audience. These spaces can be anywhere, including shopping centres, car parks, recreational reserves, college or university campus and street corners. They are especially seen in outdoor spaces where there are large numbers of people. The actors who perform street theatre range from buskers to organised theatre companies or groups that want to experiment with performance spaces, or to promote their mainstream work. It was a source of providing information to people when there were no sources of providing information like television, radio etc. Nowadays, street play is used to convey a message to the crowd watching it. Street play is considered to be the rawest form of acting, because one does not have a microphone or loud speakers.Sometimes performers are commissioned, especially for street festivals, children's shows or parades, but more often street theatre performers are unpaid or gather some income through the dropping of a coin in a hat by the audience.
The logistics of doing street theatre necessitate simple costumes and props, and often there is little or no amplification of sound, with actors depending on their natural vocal and physical ability. This issue with sound has meant that physical theatre, including dance, mime and slapstick, is a very popular genre in an outdoor setting. The performances need to be highly visible, loud and simple to follow in order to attract a crowd.
Street theatre should be distinguished from other more formal outdoor theatrical performances, such as performances in a park or garden, where there is a discrete space set aside (or roped off) and a ticketed audience.
In some cases, street theatre performers have to get a licence or specific permission through local or state governments in order to perform. Many performers travel internationally to certain locations of note.
Street theatre is arguably the oldest form of theatre in existence: most mainstream entertainment mediums can be traced back to origins in street performing, including religious passion plays and many other forms. More recently performers who, a hundred years ago, would have made their living working in variety theatres, music halls and in vaudeville, now often perform professionally in the many well-known street performance areas throughout the world. Notable performers that began their careers as street theatre performers include Robin Williams, David Bowie, Jewel and Harry Anderson.
Street theatre allows people who might not have ever been to, or been able to afford to go to, traditional theatre. The audience is made up of anyone and everyone who wants to watch and for most performances is free entertainment.
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