Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance: a play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on radio or television. Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes ever since Aristotle's Poetics —the earliest work of dramatic theory.
The term "drama" comes from a Greek word "draō" meaning "to do / to act", which is derived from "I do". The two masks associated with drama represent the traditional generic division between comedy and tragedy.
In English, the word play or game was the standard term for dramas until William Shakespeare's time—just as its creator was a play-maker rather than a dramatist and the building was a play-house rather than a theatre.
The use of "drama" in a more narrow sense to designate a specific type of play dates from the modern era. "Drama" in this sense refers to a play that is neither a comedy nor a tragedy—for example, Zola's Thérèse Raquin or Chekhov's Ivanov. It is this narrower sense that the film and television industries, along with film studies, adopted to describe "drama" as a genre within their respective media.