In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِقَوْمِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تَذْبَحُوا بَقَرَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَتَّخِذُنَا هُزُوًا ۖ قَالَ أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ
And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his people: “Verily, Allah commands you that you slaughter a cow.” They said, “Do you make fun of us?” He said, “I take Allah’s Refuge from being among Al-Jahilun (the ignorant or the foolish). [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 67]
A Jaahil (ignorant one) is that one who utters speech that contains no benefit and mocks at the people. As for a sensible person, he sees that one of the most blameworthy traits – abhorred by (sound) religion and intellect- is to mock at someone who is a human being like himself. And if he has been favoured over another person, then this favour necessitates that he thanks Allaah and shows mercy to Allaah’s servants. Therefore, when Musa [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said this to them [أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ – I take Allaah’s Refuge from being among the ignorants and the foolish ], they knew that it [i.e. what he commanded them] was truth, so they said: [ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ يُبَيِّن لَّنَا مَا هِيَ -call upon your Lord for us that He may make plain to us what it is!](1)
The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, Waylun (Woe) to the one who tells lies to make people laugh, woe to him”. (2)
Qaadhi Iyaad [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated that the word ‘’Waylun‘’ (Woe) has some of the following meanings: It is used to refer to one who has fallen into destruction. It is used to refer to one who deserves destruction. It is used to refer to destruction itself. It is used to refer to the difficulty found in punishment. It is used to refer to grief. It is used to refer to a valley in the hell fire. (3)
Al-Allaamah Ahmad Bin Yahyah An-Najmi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated about acting: What is clear to me is that it is unlawful because it is based on the following forbidden affairs:
[a] Lying: That is because acting is not based except on lying, it is not built except on it, and it is not ended without it (i.e. because the person is not in reality the one who performed those actions iniatially). Lying is unlawful and a Muslim has no doubt regarding its unlawfulness. Indeed, Allaah – in His Mighty Book – dispraised lying and the one who commits the deed, rather He [The Exalted] cursed them. “Then we pray and invoke (sincerely) the Curse of Allah upon those who lie”. [Surah Aal Imran. Aayah 61]
In a hadeeth reported from the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], he said, “Verily, lying leads to immorality and immorality leads to the fire”. [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari 6049 and Saheeh Muslim 2607]
[b] Forgery and falsehood: In an authentic hadeeth reported from the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], he said, “He who made a claim of anything, which (in fact) did not belong to him (or he does not possess), is not from us…” [Saheeh Muslim. Number 61]
[c] The actor pretends to cry, or laugh, or sadness, or joy, or anger, or satisfaction, whilst he is lying.
[d] Imitating the personality of someone else: A Muslim may assume the personality of a disbeliever, or a disbeliever or an immoral person may assume the personality of a believer among the most senior personalities in Islam- either a companion of the Prophet, or a noble scholar, or a just king. This is a great offence.
[e] The actors make lawful these forbidden deeds whilst knowing that a person imitating another person in his appearance, his gait, or his speech by way of a narrative is tantamount to backbiting (i.e. speaking about them behind in their absence), and backbiting is forbidden. The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “I do not love that I imitate anyone even if I should get such and such”. [Sunan Abu Dawud 4875. Silsilah As-Saheehah 901]
[f] It teaches deception and immorality: The corrupt affairs that occurred due to the viewing of these corrupt plays (or dramas) has either gained the upper hand or belied the claim to rectification.
[g] The actors who ascribe to Islam do a great service to the orientalists – the enemies of Islam. That is because they take narratives that are fabricated about the leaders and (distinguished) men of Islam, and the intent behind it is to degrade their status, so these actors take these narrations and spread them, whilst either being beware of them or become amazed by them, either not knowing or thinking that that they are sound. And by way of this, they definitely give service to the orientalists and injure the dignity of Islaam and its (distinguished) men. This is the height of offensive behaviour against Islaam and the people of Islam; rather it might lead the doer to disbelief.
 The Prophet’s companions and those who came before them were influenced through listening to the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and admonitions, and they were not in need of plays (or dramas). (4)
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from Tafseer As-Sadi. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: Reported by Imaam Abu Dawood. Hadeeth Number 4990]
[Ref 3: Quoted by Shaikh Abdullaah Al-Bukhaari in Sharh Umdatul Ahkaam: lesson 2]
[Ref 4: An Excerpt from Al-Fataawaa Al-Jaliyyah Anil Manaahij Ad-Da’wiyyah Vol 1. Pages 55-57. Publisher: Daarul Minhaaj. 1st Edition 1425AH (2004)]