Theatre is that branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle — indeed any one or more elements of the other performing arts. In addition to the standard narrative dialog style, theatre takes such forms as opera, ballet, mime, kabuki, Chinese opera, mummers' plays and pantomime.
There is an enormous variety of philosophies, artistic processes, and theatrical approaches to creating plays and drama. Some are connected to political or spiritual ideologies, and some are based on purely "artistic" concerns. Some processes focus on story, some on theatre as an event, some on theatre as a catalyst for social change. According to Aristotle's seminal theatrical critique Poetics, there are six elements necessary for theatre. They are Plot, Character, Idea, Language, Music, and Spectacle. The 17th-century Spanish writer Lope de Vega wrote that for theatre one needs "three boards, two actors, and one passion." Others notable for their contribution to theatrical philosophy are Konstantin Stanislavski, Antonin Artaud, Bertolt Brecht, Orson Welles, Peter Brook, Jerzy Grotowski.
The most recognizable figures in theatre are the playwrights and actors, but theatre is a highly collaborative endeavor. Plays are usually produced by a production team that commonly includes a director, scenic or set designer, lighting designer, costume designer, sound designer, dramaturg, stage manager, and production manager. The artistic staff are assisted by technical theatre personnel who handle the creation and execution of the production.