Talk:Theatre

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This article uses the following optional standards for Style elements.

Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive This article was on the Article Collaboration and Improvement Drive for the week of April 25, 2005.

Resources[edit]

As of right now there are 9350 charters (1460 words) of plain text.

--Guerillero | My Talk 03:47, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Re-drafting drive[edit]

This article was nominated for the Theatre Project's Collaboration of the Month. I've begun a re-draft. It's far from complete. I am trying to improve the sources and citations throughout, so for the time being I have temporarily deleted some material. I'm not trying to introduce any bias or to exclude anyone or anything. For the moment, I've introduced a decent list of sources, formatted according to the MLA author-date system (for a good example, see the Hamlet FA-class article). I've also removed all pictures of theatre buildings in a bid to focus the images more on the act/event of theatre, rather than the buildings in which it takes place. The article needs contributions from ALL areas of theatre, at as broad a level as we can muster. Please be sure to provide reliable, third-party sources for any material that's added, or help to provide citations for that which is already there. This article got 52,500 hits in the last thirty days, which means that about 2,000 people are looking at it every day! So far, I've imported material from my own draft of a new article on Athenian tragedy, from the ancient Greek comedy article, West End theatre, and various stagecraft articles.  • DP •  {huh?} 15:51, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Great idea. I'll have a look as time permits. --Thomprod (talk) 17:16, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

I've been working on cleaning-up History of theatre, which has had some good material added to it since I last looked. Once that's finished, I'll try to summarise for this one.  • DP •  {huh?} 21:33, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Invention of theatre[edit]

I've restored the sentence that says that theatre was invented in classical Greece. It is fully supported by its citations and the footnote explains in greater detail what the sources actually say for anyone who's in any doubt. That it may (or may not) have developed out of myth and ritual (oral storytelling is also a candidate) doesn't contradict the fact that it was invented in a specific time and place (even if we don't have the evidence for exactly when or how). I retained Goldhill's use of the word "invention" in preference for "origin" - a good case can be made for the latter, I would argue, but it gets complicated.  • DP •  {huh?} 10:35, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

There's a discussion on the talk page of history of theatre about this, which is probably the more appropriate forum.  • DP •  {huh?} 12:53, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Improvisational Theatre[edit]

Given that every major North American city now has one or more professional improvisational theaters (where the performance is improvised), does improvisational theatre deserve to be listed here as a type of theatre? Any thoughts? Jwyllie (talk) 02:47, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Inclusion of alternate spelling[edit]

Please note: There is a great deal of discussion on spelling differences in the archives: Talk:Theatre/Archive_1#Theatre_or_Theater - danyoung - 21:31, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Feel it's Is it necessary and pertinent to include a legitimate alternate spelling: "theater"? 75.45.240.199 (talk) 14:38, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

IP: I change the wording from "Feel its .." to "Is it ..." so that the RfC is posed as a question. That should avoid confusion. If you disagree with my change, feel free to undo it. --Noleander (talk) 16:38, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Disagree, "theatre" is the common word used throughout the English speaking world to describe dramatic arts; "theater" is used in some places to describe some buildings dedicated to dramatic performance. Jezhotwells (talk) 14:55, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Question to RfC filer: When you say "include a legitimate alternate spelling", are you talking about the very first mention of the word in the article, as in this edit? I think we need some clarification so that all the editors commenting here can be sure of what's being proposed. — Mr. Stradivarius 15:16, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
    • The RFC filer is quite clearly proposing the addition/continuance of the mention that "theater" is an alternative spelling in the context of the first sentence. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.]
  • Question to RfC filer: Why is inclusion "necessary" and/or "pertinent"? - ArtifexMayhem (talk) 16:22, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
    • Generally, if the title of the article has an alternative English spelling, we include it in the lead. I think that's the point. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 17:08, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes. It is standard Wikipedia practice to include widely-recognised alternative spellings in the first sentence. (See Wikipedia:Lead section#Abbreviations and synonyms for details.) The Mirriam-Webster definition proves that theater is widely-used, and I don't think we could claim that this article was comprehensive if we omitted it. — Mr. Stradivarius 18:23, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
...be acceptable? - ArtifexMayhem (talk) 19:59, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Ps. I am opposed to idea on face, but if we must I like to keep it as clean as possible. - ArtifexMayhem (talk) 12:21, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

I'm an American. At the Musical Theatre project, we decided to use the spelling "theatre", because this spelling is acceptable everywhere. Indeed in the US, theatre people spell it "theatre". So, there is no reason to use the spelling "theater", which is NOT acceptable in most places outside the US. -- Ssilvers (talk) 01:14, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Interesting. Nonetheless, I don't think anyone's saying that -er should be the primary spelling, only included as an alternative in the first sentence to accomodate US readers. Would you oppose that? - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 08:07, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Let's be very clear about the question. Right now, the article says: "(or theater[1] in American English)". This is misleading. It is only *sometimes* spelled "theater" in American English, usually when referring to the building in which the art form takes place. -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:08, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes - It is helpful to readers to give alternate spellings. There is no harm in including the other spelling, once, to educate the readers. Omitting theater from the lead may confuse readers, particularly US readers: they may feel that they are in the wrong article. We need to help readers as much as we can: including alternate spellings is helpful. The "theatre" spelling can be used throughout the body of the article. --Noleander (talk) 16:38, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Would "(or sometimes in American English theater[1])" Be a better way. I think this implements the concern of User:Ssilvers while still mentioning the alternate spelling Eomund (talk) 02:23, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

  • Both should be mentioned --Guerillero | My Talk 03:52, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, why would you not? As suggested by Eomund seems good to me. Martin Hogbin (talk) 22:09, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

I have updated it as noone has made a comment in a couple weeks. Eomund (talk) 00:47, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Support: growing up I lived all throughout the US and was confused as a child as to which spelling is "correct". At one point I remember thinking that "theatre"(which spell check marks as an incorrect word), was Old English and not in current use. A note like this will help clarify for readers, particularly American kids taking an English class.AerobicFox (talk) 03:15, 19 October 2011 (UTC
  • Support "(or sometimes in American English theater[1])" per Eomund, for the reasons of AerobicFox, and per common sense. Rich Farmbrough, 22:42, 22 October 2011 (UTC).
  • Support "(or sometimes in American English theater[1])", although an unregistered editor appears to disagree[1]. I'd be interested to hear if any more of our friends from the US agree with User:Ssilvers, as to me it's a convincing enough argument. - danyoung - 21:08, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Music theatre[edit]

Someone has just created an article called "Music theatre". It seems like a confused variation of Musical theatre, which is a B-class article, and also contains elements of the Performing arts article, such as dance. The new article cites only one source, but it is not clear if the source supports creating a third article to define this field apart from "musical theatre". What do you all think? Should it be AfD'd? -- Ssilvers (talk) 16:52, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

I get the impression the term was coined by the source author as a tool for topic definition rather than being something that is widely used or even recognised outside the scope of the source. Lambtron (talk) 18:18, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
I have redirected to Musical Theatre. Jezhotwells (talk) 00:07, 8 October 2011 (UTC)
That seems sensible. -- Ssilvers (talk) 02:49, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

WP:RS and language problems[edit]

This series of edits seems to be relying on sources from the web, and these don't seem to be satisfying the WP:RS criteria, being in the main enthusiasts' self-published web pages. It's written in an essay style, and with an occasionally unhandy use of language as though the contributor is not a native speaker. It will be a big job to polish this up, including a large-scale search for proper sources. Suggestions, volunteers? --Old Moonraker (talk) 06:13, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, at a quick glance, the basic facts are about right, but it could be stated more concisely, and obviously good refs are needed. I already volunteered for the musical theatre section, so I take one giant step backward. -- Ssilvers (talk) 07:15, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

TheatreHistory.com link[edit]

OK, it looks like someone added this link, and others removed it. I don't mind it, because it is an extensive collection of articles on theatre, theatre people and specific shows, as well as collecting texts of public domain plays and links to further reading (follow the links on the right side of the page), which is recommended by other theatre sites, such as Jewish-Theatre.com, and it is recommended in this Theatre History Resource Guide. This teacher site calls it a "smorgasboard of information". This teacher site says: "This is a comprehensive academically-oriented site that is almost an e-course. It provides insight into issue of theatre history as well as an index of topics and other features." It also has the advantage of covering lots of major international theatre markets, both within the English-speaking world and outside of it. This article doesn't have that many ELs, and this one seems like a pretty big, er, "smorgasbord" of theatre info, as one of the links above says. What do others think? -- Ssilvers (talk) 07:17, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

After discounting your argumentum ad populum valuation, we are left with a compendium of public domain theatre info that is plastered with advertising. In particular, I find the pop-up ads for Netflix, etc. quite annoying when following internal links. If some part of this site is deemed a useful EL because of its content, why not simply copy that content to the article instead of linking to the spammy website? Lambtron (talk) 14:30, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't think you have used that latin correctly. I'm not arguing that the website is a popular, I am noting that relevant and respected users, like teachers and other theatre websites, recommend the website. These sorts of web reviews are one way that we decide, here are Wikipedia, whether a website is a WP:RS. It is true that the site displays advertising (although I don't see any "pop-up" advertising), but it's an extensive collection of theatre resources; just the sort of thing that might be helpful as an EL to this article on Theatre. Anyone else? -- Ssilvers (talk) 17:12, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Huh? The Latin phrase argumentum ad populum fits this like a glove! You have concluded that the website is a suitable EL because many others, by linking to it, have shown that they believe it to be a suitable EL. Lambtron (talk) 18:15, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Opera and Ballet[edit]

I feel that the way the article states opera and ballet are outside the scope of the article is extremely harsh. Especially considering modern western Musical Theatre would be non-existent without the influence of opera and ballet. These two arts have most certainly had a profound influence on the history of theatre and I think we should at least reword the sentence to be able to allow these arts to be at least discussed.-Rainbowofpeace (talk) 12:17, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

It should also be noted by other editors on here that opera was actually invented to try and restore what was believed to be ancient Greek drama. I understand they didn't do it correctly but it is still clear how important it is in theatrical history.-Rainbowofpeace (talk) 12:20, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Jedermann is a must[edit]

Jedermann is an institution. It has been performed at the Salzburg Festival every summer since 1926 - except during the Nazi regime. It featured and features the most important and famous actors and actresses of german language. It is a sign of ignorance not to acknowledge that there is happening something else then greek (ancient) theatre. I would like to have a discussion here before someone else kicks out this image again. If you want me to include some explanations about the Jedermann for the english speaking audience I am willing to do so. But please discuss it here before taking action again.--Meister und Margarita (talk) 21:58, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

There are hundreds or perhaps thousands of important institutions on our planet. Shall we show photos of all of them here? Excluding those photos from this article is not a sign of "ignorance", but of practicality. That being said, I will keep an open mind and would like to hear other opinions about this. Lambtron (talk) 23:30, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Jedermann is not just any institution. It is based on the 15th century English morality play Everyman, was rewritten by Hofmannsthal in 1912, instigated by Max Reinhardt in Salzburg in 1920 - as the official inauguration of the Salzburg Festival - and since then has been performed each year with up to 30.000 spectators in Salzburg in the spectacular environement in the front of the Salzburg Cathedral - only with the exception of the years 1922-1925 and the Nazi-occupaction from 1938-45. It is THE play of german language (spoken by estimated 95–100 million people). Jedermann has been played amongst other famous actors by Curd Jürgens, Maximilian Schell and Klaus Maria Brandauer. Therefore I kindly request that the pic remains in this article.--Meister und Margarita (talk) 01:42, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
It's not a very good picture, to put it politely, of an actor in a play which are both largely unknown in the English speaking world (see Jedermann). It doesn't belong in the lead of this article. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:58, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree that it is impractical for there to be an example for every notable play. And it's hardly about just Greek theatre; the lead image is of a very famous French actress playing arguably the most famous male role in English-language theatre, written in the late 16th century. And there's a large variety of other images covering various period of history and aspects, up to modern set building. And remember, they need to be free images, as fair use wouldn't cut it here because of the broadness of the topic meaning that free equivalents could easily be made for the most part. So its not ignorance (and insulting thing to say), but careful use of editorial judgement. oknazevad (talk) 02:32, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Who wrote this: ″I agree that it is impractical for there to ...″ Could you please sign your statement. Thanks.--Meister und Margarita (talk) 01:25, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
It's signed; where's the problem? -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:58, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
I signed it after the OP asked why it wasn't. That said, regarding your comment above that the picture doesn't belong because of the relative unknown nature of the work in English speaking countries isn't necessarily a strike against it; there's already more obscure items in the article and Wikipedia isn't here to reinforce a systemic bias of telling people stuff they already know. That said, it isn't a very good quality image (too dark, the boy position obscures the actor too much, and there's no background context), so it really doesn't belong in the lead. oknazevad (talk) 12:55, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I agree with Michael Bednarek that the image doesn't belong in the lede. In fact, displaying it at all would lend undue weight to a work that is largely unknown in the English speaking world. I don't mean to belittle Jedermann; I'm simply pointing out the hard realities of this matter. I also agree with Oknazevad's assessment about the impracticality of displaying images of every notable play; this article is not and should not become a gallery of theatrical works. Lambtron (talk) 16:58, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Sarah Bernhardt was definitely a great actress, but she is overexposed in enWP. Her pic as Hamlet (1899) is the title image in both Theatre and Acting. That's too much. I propose a compromise: Jedermann as title image of this article, Sarah remaining in the heroine of Acting. I personally think, Jedermann is a great pic in its abstraction - not showing a face but the suffering of a man in ultimate despair, with fire in the background showing the danger of the hell. Regards--Meister und Margarita (talk) 22:12, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
(Bernhardt overexposed? POV much?) To have an unsuitable image in the lead of an article with 67,000 monthly views is not a compromise; it ought to be removed. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 04:39, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree that the image does not belong in the lead --Guerillero | My Talk 05:32, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
Due to the overwhelming majority against a change, against a new picture, I will think about a new proposal.--Meister und Margarita (talk) 07:43, 5 December 2013 (UTC)

Merged Play (theatre) into Theatre[edit]

Being WP:Bold, I merged Play (theatre) into this article. Why? Not because I do not think that there could justifiably be a separate Play article but because the article that was there was not substantial enough. Further what was there replicated what was here. Lastly, that article had few recent edits or discussion.

However, that being said, I think it is better to have one article on theater that includes a discussion of plays for two reasons. First, a number of people use the words "theater" and "play" interchangeably. And second, by having one article we can discuss what differences there may or may not be. The two topics are so closely intertwined that the discussion of the history of plays and the history of theater would be almost identical, and the same goes for a discuss of the genres (drama, comedy, etc.). While there might be some justification for having separate articles, it seems to me that two articles would be a lot more work to maintain and not very edifying to our readers. Our readers would get more out of one article that discusses and delineates "plays" from "theater" than they would from having two articles that largely duplicated each other's wording.

Obviously, I recognize that my act was bold and suspect that it might be reverted. Regardless a discussion of merits and demerits of merging should occur and a WP:Consensus should be reached. --Iloilo Wanderer (talk) 11:19, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

While the idea has some merit, there's far more to theatre than just plays, and that key aspect, playwriting, would be overwhelmed entirely. Just as we have separate articles for scenic design, lighting design, etc., we should have a separate play article, one that at least in part, covers playwriting as a process. :There's also the aspect that plays are a literary form, not just a part of theatrical production. Certainly they're written with performance in mind, but they're also studied like any text; after all, how many people have read a play as part of a literature class but never seen a performance of that play? That aspect of a play as a piece of literature is completely lost if they're merged. So I oppose any merger, and have already reverted. oknazevad (talk) 11:40, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
PS, another thought that comes to mind. Not all theatre is performances of plays. As the article already notes, opera, ballet, and improv are all forms of theatre. While one could argue that a libretto is a form of play (an argue meant one is unlikely to win), no way can one argue that ballets and improv groups are performing a play. So that's another aspect against a merge. Not all theatre is plays. oknazevad (talk) 12:00, 29 August 2014 (UTC)