What is the history of theatre?
timeline of theatrical milestones through history. Starting with the greeks through the turn of the century.
editor note: a q&a is 90 words. Since it is not realistic to cover 2500 years in 90 words, I'll address the first part of the question, namely the Greek origins.
The most comprehensive account preserved of the origins of Greek theatre is the one in Aristotle’s Poetics. This is supplemented by archaeological evidence and internal evidence from and scholia on the Greek plays themselves, as well as various comments in other ancient works.
According to Aristotle, Greek drama originated in choral performances given at religious festivals, which included singing and dancing. Eventually the leader of the chorus began to have lines he recited individually. Aeschylus is credited with adding a second actor, and fully developing what became the canonical form of tragedy, in which choral odes alternated with episodes of dialogue.
The three main genres of Greek drama were the tragedy, the comedy, and the satyr play, all of which alternated sections of dialogue, with actors speaking individually, and choral performances.