Theatre Thursdays: Introduction

That’s right, we’re starting a new weekly theme and it’s Theatre Thursday! Now every day of the week has a theme and I think we deserve a round of applause!

Anybody?

Nobody?

Okay.

Well, anyway, Theatre Thursday will consist of various articles related to the world of theatre, including reviews, previews of new shows, general thoughts on the importance and relevance of theatre, fanning over various people involved with theatre, and anything else we can think of related to the topic! I must be honest though, for my part my posts will be related almost entirely to musical theatre and at that, primarily American musical theatre. I don’t mean to imply that musical theatre is more important or relevant than legitimate theatre; it’s just that it’s my preference and American musicals are the ones I’m most familiar with and exposed to.

Before I launch into my first post I’ll cover some terms I may throw around in the future (NOTE: Some of these are official definitions, some are just my working definitions):

Broadway: The pinnacle of live theatre, particularly musical theatre, located in New York City.

Off-Broadway: Also located in New York City, smaller theaters in which it is cheaper to run a show, shows here tend to be more experimental than Broadway shows as the expense (and therefore risk) in producing is less great.

West End: The English version of Broadway, located in London.

National Tour/Touring Production: Productions of musicals whose casts and sets travel from city to city, performing limited runs in local theaters.

Non-Eq Tour: Non-Equity tours are the same as the above productions except the performers are not members of Actors Equity, the Union for working actors in the US, and are typically less experienced and cheaper.

Sit-Down Production: Open-ended run of a show performed continuously in one location for as long as ticket sales hold up.

Regional Production: Professional production of a show in a particular city, not related to any other production, often performed mostly by local actors, but frequently employs Equity performers.

Out-of-Town Tryout: A production of a show which runs in a smaller city to gauge audience and critical response before attempting a New York run.

Community Theatre Production: Local cast and crew putting on a show without pay.

Revival: A new production of a piece of theatre which has already had an official opening and closing.

Replica Production: A production using the original creative team’s work including costumes, lighting, sets, wigs, etc. with few to no significant changes. Most tours, international transfers, and sit-downs are replica productions.

Non-Replica Production: A production which uses new creative direction either from the same creative team revisiting their work or a new creative team tackling the piece. Most revivals, regional, and community theatre productions are non-replica productions.

Stage-Dooring: Fans like me waiting at the Stage Door of a theater to congratulate the cast and/or get their autographs. Kind of awkward but so thrilling.

Theatre: The abstract concept of performing arts, most often referring to plays and musicals, but as with any term related to art the meaning is flexible.

Theater: The physical building in which theatre typically occurs.

Tonys: The Antoinette Perry Awards. The equivalent of the Oscars for Broadway theatre.

Olivier Awards: The equivalent of the Tonys for West End.

I think I’ll leave it at that for today. I wrote a bit of a post about the new Broadway Revival of Evita but this intro ended up being longer than I originally intended so I’ll save it for next week!

7 thoughts on “Theatre Thursdays: Introduction

  1. Cheers!! I love theatre, any kind. My favorite theatre actor is Randy Harrison who is currently in a production of Red that was in NJ and now is in Cleveland for a short run. He was the Narrator/Tommy in BTF’s production of Tommy last summer in Pittsfield, MA. It was a great production, the set was very industrial and stripped down. It worked so well because it balanced the story and lyrics beautifully.

  2. i must say I like West End better than broadway, even though i live here in the states…
    all the classy shows that broadway has were mostly borrowed from the west end. It seems all we’re capable of making is snarky american musicals and *wince* Spiderman: Turn off the dark. . .

    • West End certainly has its merits but I definitely prefer Broadway. I think of the shows I love which have come from the West End and how the Broadway productions have improved on them or been more or less the same, but I can’t feel the same about many of our shows sent across the pond. Wicked, Into the Woods, and especially The Secret Garden and Rent I find so much better prior to their London re-imaginings. Granted, I’ve not yet actually been to London so my knowledge of West End productions is limited and secondhand and my opinion should definitely be taken with a grain of salt.

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