Difference Between Theatre and Theater


Main Difference

The main difference between Theatre and Theater is that Theatre is the preferred word in British English, whereas Theater is the preferred word in American English.

Theatre vs. Theater

Theatre is the correct spelling in British and many English-speaking countries other than the United States, whereas theater is the correct spelling in the United States. Theatre ends with –re. On the flip side, theater ends with –er.

Theatre is an old French word, whereas theater is an English word having Greek and Latin roots from the French language basically. Theatre is a word for communication with American people, while theater is a word for communication with British people.


According to the American’s point of view, theatre is considered a play or movie slot. In contrast, the theater is considered a drama plot. Theatre is a very ancient term, but theater is a new term. The term theatre was founded in 300 BC, while theater is founded about 50 years ago in America.

If your audience is a European resident, or you are conversing with people who live in Canada and British, etc. then you should prefer using “theatre.” On the flip side, If your audience is a US resident or you are communicating with people living in America, you should choose “theater.”

Countries like including Europe, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, and Pakistan, etc. prefer the usage of “theatre,” whereas countries like South America, the Caribbean, Japan, South Korea, Northern China, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jodan, Iraq, and the Philippines, etc. use the word “theater.”


Comparison Chart

A building or an outdoor area in which plays are performed is called theatre.A play or a movie presentation in the form of its dramatic qualities is called theater.
Spelling Difference
Ending with –reEnding with –er
British EnglishAmerican English
Countries Following
Countries other than the United StatesThe United States
Ancient termNew term
Year of Origin
300 BC14th century
Region of Practice
How dare you go to the theatre?Marry has been in love with theater since she was only seven years old.

What is Theatre?

A theatre is a building or a room where people come and are entertained by different performances from different artists, musicians, opera singers, ballerinas, dancers, lyricists, humorists, jokers, and actors. It is generally considered that theatre is the actual art, and theater is the building in which this art is performed, but there is no difference between these two terms in their meanings.

Theatres are created to entertain the people, to wipe out their sorrows, and help them relax in their harsh lives. Theatre is a brach where different art is demonstrated by different artists, which perform their roles by acting out stories in front of the audience.

The essential benefit of theatre is that theatres improve life and enhance academic performance. Theatre is something that the audience sees as they sit in the theatre and view the work. A theatre must have a thought, any theme, or any idea, which can be explained as the story guideline which interprets the whole story.

Theatres are presented by many features associating with them, i.e., Action or plot, characters, language, music, and spectacles, etc. The significant elements of a theatre are performers, audience, director, theatre space, design aspects like scenery, costume, lighting, and sound, etc. and text mainly, which include focus, purpose, and point of view.

Theatre helps us with fast thinking and improvisation. It bounds vast diversity in it, which teaches fundamental skills for project management, respect for everyone, and understanding. Theatre’s kinds are Tragedy, Comedy, Melodrama, and Drama.

What is Theater?

The theater is a word originated from France and adopted in America about 50 years ago. The theater has the same pronunciation and meaning as theatre. The theater is the preferred word in America and is not much old as compared to “theatre.”

The word “theater” emerged in the 14th century and is most common in publication and practice in the United States only. The theater is known as a commotion or profession of acting, manufacturing, producing, representing, directing, and writing plays.

A room or big hall with tightly placed seats in confined space is also called theater. A room or operation place where an operation or surgery is performed is also called theater. It is also used to manifest weapons used between tactical and strategic wars.


  • Excuse me, where is the main entrance to the theater?
  • I was doing dishes when I heard that Ali was going to the theater with his brother.
  • The old theater will be demolished and replaced by a new one.
  • My best friend gave me theater tickets as my birthday present.
  • A large crowd was gathered outside the theater because of an accident.
  • I decided to attend a comedy theater along with my college friends.
  • Do you have any tickets for Money Heist’s season 4 show?
  • In addition to his desolate exploits, donkey Bill had a theater career too.
  • Manual was interested in upbringing his career in musical theater.
  • Do you want to go to the theater tonight, or you want to rest alone?
  • She refused to go to a melodrama theater.

Key Differences

  1. Theatre ending is –re, whereas theater ending is –er.
  2. Theatre is a more old and ancient term, while theater is the less old and new term.
  3. The word theatre is originated from Greece. On the flip side, the word theater is originated from France.
  4. The term theatre was emerged in about 300 BC. Conversely, the term theater emerged about 50 years ago in America.
  5. Theatre is directly descended from the French language. In contrast, the theater is a word of English language that is indirectly descended from French through Latin and Greek.
  6. In American’s view, theatre is a piece of art. On the other hand, the theater is a room or venue where artists demonstrate their prowess and dexterity by showing that art.
  7. According to American’s point of distinguishing theatre from the theater, theatre is a movie or play performance. On the flip side, the theater is a drama plot.
  8. Theatre is a preferential word for practice and usage in British English. On the flip side, the theater is preferred in American English.
  9. Theatre is commonly used in Europe, whereas theater is commonly used in the United States.
  10. Theatre is used to communicate with the audience of Europe, the British, and every country other than America. In contrast, to communicate with the audience of America, the theater is used.
  11. The countries, which follow the word “theatre” are Europe, Singapore, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Malaysia, South Africa, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Pakistan, India, and England, etc. On the other hand, the countries, which follow the word “theater” are South America, the Philippines, Japan, Northern China, the Caribbean, Saudi Arabia, Jodan, Iraq, and Kuwait, etc.


Theatre is a term preferred in British English, whereas theater is a term preferred in American English. Theatre is the preferred term as compared to the theater, and there is no difference between the pronunciation and meanings of these two terms.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson