Theater is the branch of the performing arts defined simply as what "occurs when one or more persons, isolated in time and/or space, present themselves to another or others." By this broad definition, theater has existed since the dawn of man, as a result of a human tendency to tell stories. Since its inception, theater has taken many forms, often utilizing elements such as speech, gesture, music, dance, and spectacle, other performing arts, and often the visual arts, into a single artistic form. Modern Western theater is dominated by realism, though many other forms, including classical, experimental, and Eastern forms, are frequently performed.
Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. Dramas are performed in various media: theater, radio, film, and television. Drama is often combined with music and dance: the drama in opera is sung throughout; musicals include spoken dialogue and songs; and some forms of drama have regular musical accompaniment (melodrama and Japanese No, for example). In improvisation, the drama does not pre-exist the moment of performance; performers devise a dramatic script spontaneously before an audience.
Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. Films are produced by recording images from the world with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or special effects. Films are cultural artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment and a powerful method for educating—or indoctrinating—citizens. The visual element of cinema gives motion pictures a universal power of communication. Some films have become popular worldwide attractions by using dubbing or subtitles that translate the dialogue.
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