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Definition of Theater and Types of Theater in Indonesia
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Etymogically, the word theater comes from the Greek “Theaomai” and the English “Theater” which means to see and hear with awe. Then the word theater changed to “Theatron” which means;
The Performance Hall or stage at the time of Thucydides, 471 – 395 BC and Plato’s time, 428 – 424 BC.
Public / auditorium or audience place in Herodotus’ time, 490 / 480-424 BC.

Definition of Theater

In the usual sense theater can be divided into general and narrow terms. The definition of theater in general or commonly is an activity or human activity using a body or movable objects, where sound, dance, and music are the main media in expressing tastes, tastes and artistic intentions.

In a broad sense theater is any spectacle that is displayed in front of a crowd, for example; drama, theater, ballet, opera, operet, cabaret, wayang orang, ketoprak, ludruk, wayang golek, wayang kulit, srandul, randai, lonser, slapstick, various musical or musical performances, art carnival, juggling, acrobatics, football, and etc. Meanwhile, in a narrow sense theater is drama.


The drama term in Greek is “Dran” or “Draomai” which means to act, act, act, act. In general, the term drama means a form of theater that uses play by means of conversation or gestures on stage supported by several artistic elements in the show. The essence or basis in the drama story is the existence of a conflict or contradiction, between; a figure, with himself, with others, with society or the environment.

Drama is a story of human life that is retold on stage witnessed by many people / viewers using the media; conversation, movement and behavior with decoration or performance and based on a written script (narrative) with or without singing, music, and dance.


Theater performances were called “plays” during the Japanese occupation. The word drama (Javanese) comes from two words, namely “Sandi” which means vague, secret and, “Wara” which means news, advice or teaching. So the word Sandiwara according to Ki Hajar Dewantara means teaching, advice, or advice through symbolism. This term was originally used by P.K.G. Mangkunegara VII as a replacement for Toneel.


The term Tonil or Toneel is nothing but a play or show or theater during the Dutch occupation era, to be precise in the last years of Dutch colonialism, when a troupe called “Dardanella” appeared.

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