(from Gaulish "theatrix"), enjoys the distinction of two spellings: in British English, "theatre" and in American English, "theater". There is no technical distinction between the meanings of the two spellings, however most theatre artists prefer the English spelling because it more clearly distinguishes between those sitting in a darkened room watching bad acting, and those sitting in a darkened room watching bad acting on film
Theatre is that branch of the performing arts concerned with the creation of gainful employment for those persons who would normally just be shunned for having an irritating voice and exaggerated mannerisms. It is comprised of stories or narratives for (or with) an audience using combinations of acting, shouting, rude gestures, dull music, awkward dance, object manipulation, emotional manipulation, sound, spectacle, and drama — indeed, recycling and otherwise rehashing any one or more elements of the other similarly pretentious performing arts. In addition to standard narrative dialogue style, theatre takes such forms as opera, musicals, ballet, mime, kabuki, classical Indian dance, aboriginal and native Indian dance, modern white-people styled So You Think You Can Dance, Morris dancing, Chinese opera, Japanese opera, mummers' plays, and pantomime.