This chapter focuses on drama, and the importance of performance in general, for understanding ancient literature. Attention is paid to the origin of drama in Athens in the fifth century bce and its relation both to the cult of the god Dionysos and to Athenian democracy. A close reading of a passage from Sophocles’ Antigone highlights specific structural features of ancient Greek drama, in particular the role of the chorus. The development of ancient drama, including comedy, first in the post-classical Greek period and subsequently in Latin literature, is discussed with special emphasis on such as authors as Menander, Plautus and Terence (comedy) and Seneca (tragedy). The chapter ends with a brief overview of the reception of classical drama in later European culture, from the first Italian operas to modern adaptations of ancient plays.