Difference Between Drama and Theatre

Drama vs Theatre

Both drama and theater are words associated with performing arts and have a very similar meaning that is enough to confuse a lot of people. In fact, people make use of these words interchangeably, which is not correct. The differences between drama and theater will be highlighted in this article, to enable readers to make correct usage of these words.


Drama is a word that comes from Greek Dran, which means to do or perform. It literally means action. Drama has many forms and must be construed as a generic term taking on many forms, one of which is theater. The act or process of performing a play in front of an audience is dramatization. Drama can be an episode of life, such as 9/11, a section in a DVD library or a library of plays, or it can be a fiction full of emotions and conflicts.


Theater is the personification of a drama on stage. It requires space, individuals who play characters, and people who see the act (audience). Theater is a collective effort of many people, dramatist or a playwright, a director, actors, and technicians to make audience believe that whatever is happening on stage is real. Theater is a very important performing art, and with passage of time, it has taken many new forms such as television soap operas and even movies, where there are rehearsals and takes whereas, in the theater, there is no such facility for the performers.


What is the difference between Drama and Theatre?

• Drama can be in the form of a text, prose or a verse composition delineating a story full of human emotions and conflicts. However, it becomes theater only when it is performed on stage with actors performing the roles of the characters in the text.

• Drama is given life by performers on stage.

• Audience and stage are necessary for theater.

• Drama is one of the genres of theater where comedy, tragedy, or action may be other genres.

• Drama can be an episode of life such as September 11, whereas theater is a particular setting of stage and audience.

• Theater is physical while drama can be abstract and subjective.