A thrust theatre is a typical variation on the proscenium stage in which a large front section of stage extends outward into the audience, with people seated on both sides of the extended thrust. It is not required for there to be a proscenium arrangement, though that is usually the case. A stage may have a thrust of any size or shape, though it typically takes the form of a walkway a few feet wide.

This stage arrangement can present particular problems for directorss, because it necessarily places actors in the position of having their backs to some audience members. The thrust stage was common in Elizabethan theatre but did not achieve popularity again until the latter half of the 20th century.