‘Theatre and drama’ considers the source and status of the material performed on stage, whether it originates as a written text or not. Improvisation is seen in many cultures and is recorded in China and the Middle East centuries before any written dramatic texts are found. Community theatre based on improvisation and audience participation remains popular in the non-Western world where oral traditions are strong. The wider publication of dramatic texts from the 17th century and the strict regulation of their performance played a significant role in Western theatre development. Drama and theatre, as studied at university, and the impact of postdramatic theatre, as described by Hans‐Thies Lehmann, are also discussed.