All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.
- William Shakespeare, As You Like It
Modern Western theater has its roots in Ancient Greek drama, and continues today to portray the drama of the human experience for an audience. From plays to musical theater, and even stretching into other art forms including ballet and opera, theatre gives audiences the opportunity to experience a live narrative, drawing them into the plot and the emotions of the characters. The importance of theater can be seen in the cultural status of some of history's most famous playwrights. Sophocles, Shakespeare, Ibsen and Beckett are all icons of literary history.