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Street theatre is a form of theatrical performance and presentation in outdoor public spaces without a specific paying audience. These spaces can be anywhere, including shopping centres, car parks, recreational reserves and street corners. They are especially seen in outdoor spaces where there are large numbers of people. The actors who perform street theatre range from buskers to organised theatre companies or groups that want to experiment with performance spaces, or to promote their mainstream work.
Sometimes performers are commissioned, especially for street festivals, children's shows or parades, but more often street theatre performers are unpaid or gather some income through the dropping of a coin in a hat by the audience.
The logistics of doing street theatre necessitate simple costumes and props, and often there is little or no amplification of sound, with actors depending on their natural vocal and physical ability. This issue with sound has meant that physical theatre, including dance, mime and slapstick, is a very popular genre in an outdoor setting. The performances need to be highly visible, loud and simple to follow in order to attract a crowd.
Street theatre should be distinguished from other more formal outdoor theatrical performances, such as performances in a park or garden, where there is a discrete space set aside (or roped off) and a ticketed audience.
In some cases, street theatre performers have to get a licence or specific permission through local or state governments in order to perform. Many performers travel internationally to certain locations of note.
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