Repertory or rep, called stock in the U. S. , is a term from Western theatre. Theatre (or theater, see spelling differences) is the branch of the Performing arts defined by Bernard Beckerman as what "occurs when one A repertory theatre can be a theatre in which a resident company presents works from a specified repertoire, usually in alternation. For other meanings of repertory please see Repertory (disambiguation. In the British system, however, it used to be that even quite small towns would support a rep, and the resident company would present a different play every week, either a revival from the full range of classics or, if given the chance, a new play, once the rights had been released after a West End or Broadway run. West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London 's "Theatreland" Broadway theater, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 39 large professional theaters with 500 seats or more located The companies were not known for trying out untried new work, however. The methods, now seldom seen, would be also used in The United States, Canada, and Australia.
The acting company would consist of a "leading lady", a "leading man", a "juvenile", both male and female (ingenue) for the young often romantic roles, a "character" actor and actress (for the older parts) and perhaps a "soubrette". The Ingénue (ˈænʒənuː is a Stock character in Literature, Film, and a Role type in the Theatre; generally a girl or a young Soubrette is a term referring to a type of female role&mdashspecifically a Stock character &mdashin Opera and Theatre. A "guest star" name might be brought in to boost attendance which only might cover the added cost. Hence the resident cast would number 7, plus the resident director, usually doubling as the artistic director in charge of the whole enterprise, and in addition there would be the stage director, the "ASM" (assistant stage manager), some (unpaid) apprentices, and lights and sound technicians. Newcomers to the profession would often start their careers in this fashion, and members would not only gain a foundation upon which to base a career, but, apart from the apprentices who might even pay for the experience, also be sure of a steady income for one or more "seasons". The season might last for 6 months, basically because the schedule was exhausting, both mentally and physically. Examples of performers who went on to universal recognition are Jeremy Brett, Judi Dench, Rosemary Harris, Ian McKellen, Christopher Plummer, Harold Pinter, Imelda Staunton, Lynn Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Stewart, Geraldine McEwan, Ronnie Barker, Dirk Bogarde, who wrote about his start at tiny Amersham rep in 1939, and Michael Caine, who recounts his time spent at Horsham rep in the early fifties, to present just a few. Jeremy Brett (3 November 1933 – 12 September 1995 born Peter Jeremy William Huggins, was an English Actor famous among other things for his Dame Judith Olivia Dench, CH, DBE, FRSA, (born 9 December, 1934) usually known as Judi Dench, is an English Rosemary Ann Harris (born September 19, 1927) is an English Tony Award -winning and Academy Award -nominated actress Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE (born 25 May 1939 is an English stage and screen actor the Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer, CC (born December 13 1929 is a Canadian Theater, Film and Television actor. Imelda Mary Philomena Bernadette Staunton, OBE, (born January 9 1956) is an English actress best known for her performances in the Lynn Rachel Redgrave, OBE (born 8 March, 1943) is two-time Academy Award -nominated and Golden Globe -winning English Vanessa Redgrave, CBE (born 30 January, 1937) is an English Academy Award, two-time Cannes Best Actress, Patrick Hewes Stewart, OBE (born 13 July 1940 is an English Film, Television and stage Actor. Geraldine McEwan (born Geraldine McKeown on 9 May 1932) is a BAFTA award -winning English actress, with a diverse and successful Ronald William George Barker, OBE (25 September 1929 &ndash 3 October 2005 was an English actor and Comedian, best known for his roles as Norman Stanley Fletcher Sir Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde ( 28 March, 1921  &ndash 8 May, 1999) better known by his Stage name Amersham is a Market town and Civil parish within Chiltern district in Buckinghamshire, England, 27 miles north west of Sir Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr, CBE (born 14 March 1933 better known by his screen name Michael Caine, is an Oscar - and BAFTA Horsham is a Market town situated on the River Arun in the Horsham District of West Sussex, England with a population of roughly 50000
For weekly rep, which is the true test, and for a typical 3 act play with a wise director, the actors' week would start Tuesday and go as follows: Tuesday: Notes on last night's opening from the director, then a sitdown readthrough of the next play with some discussion by the director, on-the-feet blocking of the moves for Act I with few questions from the actors - no time - and don't forget there are performances of last week's play each night. Blocking is a Theatre term which refers to the precise movement and positioning of Actors on a stage in order to facilitate the Performance of Wednesday: Run Act I (better have learned the lines last night after the show, scripts in hand disfavored) and start to block Act II, but break early because there's a matinée. Thursday: Finish blocking Act II, run Act II, and block Act III. Friday: Run Act III, runthrough of entire play, no scripts in hand and technicals, meaning lights and sound, to watch and write down cues. Saturday: Runthrough again, stop and go to test lighting and sound cues, may use costumes if ready, mistakes tolerated. 2 shows today, the evening one closing the current play. After the show, the set will be struck (taken down) by the crew, usually apprentices, and the stage manager.
Sunday, a glorious day of rest for the cast, says management and most actors' unions, but in reality brushing up on lines and moves and private rehearsals. But for the crew it means putting up the new sets, and hanging and focusing lights, and setting sound equipment. Monday: Morning, runthrough, no costumes usually (save wear and tear), mainly for the tech folks. Afternoon, "Full Perfect" (says the director and management) Dress Rehearsal, maybe a few friends in front to gauge reaction, then copious notes. Evening, 8 o'clock Opening Night, excitement, nerves, and press critics in front! Followed by notes from the director, visits with friends from the audience (always welcome), and maybe a party nearby. Then collapse in sheer exhaustion. Followed by Tuesday . . .
From the audience's point of view, local communities would become fans and champion their favorites who would be treated as celebrities. A celebrity is a widely-recognized or famous person who commands a high degree of public and media attention And sometimes entire families would make a visit to their local rep as part of the weekly routine like going to church, and for the young ones, it became a part of their future appreciation for live "legitimate" theatre.
During the forties, fifties and sixties, 2 impresarios dominated the field of British rep, mostly in the North. They were Harry Hanson and his Court players, and Frank H. Fortescue's Famous Players, with Arthur Brough in Folkestone for the South. Arthur Brough (born Frederick Arthur Baker February 26, 1905, Petersfield Hampshire died May 28, 1978 Folkestone Kent England Their system was the toughest of all, for if you joined one of their companies, it could mean "twice-nightly" shows, and a new play to learn every week. Rosemary Harris tells of her 50 consecutive weeks of doing just that at Bedford rep. Bedford is the County town of Bedfordshire, England. It is a large town and the administrative centre for the Bedford borough It cannot happen any more, due to the restrictions of British Equity which came to mandate just 8 shows a week, including perhaps 2 matinées. Equity (formerly British Actors' Equity Association) is the Actors Trade union in the United Kingdom Fortescue, who died in 1957, was known to be a strict and upright man. When Pygmalion was playing at one of his theatres, because Eliza says "Not bloody likely!", "FOR ADULTS ONLY!" would be posted in the front of house. Front of House (abbreviated FOH) is a theatrical term referring to the portion of the building that is open to the public Or perhaps he was afraid of the Lord Chamberlain, Her Majesty's official censor whose duties were abolished in 1968. The Lord Chamberlain or Lord Chamberlain of the Household is one of the chief officers of the Royal Household in the United Kingdom, and is to be distinguished
Times have changed, the practice of a new play every week and a week's rehearsal doesn't happen, and today the practice of "rep" is more likely to be seen in large cities in the manner applied by such well-known established companies as Birmingham Rep in the midlands of England which states in its programs: ""The REP" presents a season with each play generally having an unbroken run of between three and six weeks. Birmingham Repertory Theatre (commonly called Birmingham Rep or just The Rep) is a Theatre and theatre company based on Centenary Square in This is the form of repertory theatre that the majority of theatres like The REP — which are also called producing theatres — now follow. " Actors have the luxury of at least 3 weeks of rehearsal, and audiences see better shows. Repertory can still be found in the UK in a variation of the old time manner, for example the producer Charles Vance still produces weekly rep in Sidmouth (12 plays), Wolverhampton (8 plays), Burslem and Taunton (4 each). Sidmouth (ˈsɪdməθ is a small town on the English Channel Coast in Devon, South West England. The town of Burslem, known as the Mother Town, is one of the six towns that amalgamated to form the current city of Stoke-on-Trent, in the ceremonial county Taunton is the County town of Somerset, England. The Unparished area (or former Municipal borough) of Taunton has a Population The one Equity standard company left producing Weekly Repertory theatre is the semi-legendary Summer Theatre season at Frinton-on-Sea, produced by Ed Max. This season has been running for sixty-six years now, and until recently maintained its links with the oldest traditions of British commercial theatre by being run by the actor Jack Watling, his son Giles and most recently, his son-in-law Seymour Matthews. Frinton saw the early launch of actors such as Michael Dennison, Vanessa Redgrave, David Suchet, Jack Klaff, Neil Dudgeon, Owen Teale, Lynda Bellingham, and continues to give first jobs to graduating drama students.
In America, the repertory system has also found a base to compete with commercial theatre. Repertory theatre with mostly changing casts and longer running plays, perhaps better classed as "provincial" or "non-profit" theatre, has made a big come-back, in cities such as Washington, DC, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Boston, San Francisco, San Diego, Buffalo, and Seattle. Washington DC ( formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. Los Angeles (lɑˈsændʒələs los ˈaŋxeles in Spanish) is the largest City in the state of California and the American West New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city Buffalo (ˈbʌfəloʊ is the second largest city in New York State. Festival theatre now provides actors with work in the summer. Theatre festivals amongst the earliest types of festival Classical Greek theatre was associated with religious festivals dedicated to Dionysus.
Canada has its repertory/non-profits, their crowning achievement being the world-renowned Stratford Festival of Canada, but has had to contend with the tendency of Canadian actors to head South for greener pastures. The Stratford Shakespeare Festival (formerly known as the Stratford Festival of Canada is an annual celebration of Theatre running from April to November in the Canadian Their old English-style repertory theatres such as Ottawa's CRT (Canadian Repertory Theatre), and Toronto's Crest Theatre don't exist any more. Although they did have a version of summer theatre in smaller holiday districts, such as the "Straw Hat" players of Gravenhurst and Port Carling at Ontario's vacation Muskoka Lakes area. Summer Stock is also the title of a 1950 musical motion picture starring Judy Garland Ontario (ɒnˈtɛrioʊ is a province located in the central part of Canada, the largest by population and second largest after Quebec The Township of Muskoka Lakes is an area municipality of the District Municipality of Muskoka, Ontario.
Not to be overlooked is a form of touring repertory theatre known as "bus and truck", which involves transporting the actors and sets for about five different plays which can be performed in smaller communities on consecutive nights.
In Russia and much of Eastern Europe repertory theatre is based on the idea that each company maintains a number of productions which are performed on a rotating basis. Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending Eastern Europe is a general term that refers to the Geopolitical region encompassing the easternmost part of the European continent. Each production’s life span is determined by its success with the audience. However, many productions remain in repertory for years as this approach presents each piece a few times in a given season, not enough to exhaust the potential audience pool. After the fall of the Soviet regime and the substantial diminution of government subsidy, the repertory practice has required reexamination. Moscow Art Theatre and Lev Dodin’s Maly Drama Theatre of St. Petersburg are the world’s most notable practitioners of this approach. Moscow Art Theatre ( Russian: Московский Художественный Академический Театр МХАТ is a theatre company in Moscow Lev Abramovich Dodin (Лев Абрамович Додин born 1944 is a modern Russian theater director the leader of Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( tr: Sankt-Peterburg,) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River
Among the benefits of such a system are increased variety and better quality, due to fresh actors and shopped in directors. The theatre can afford to take risks, and a show that is likely to attract a large audience will effectively subsidize a show that is less likely, especially if season tickets are sold.
Drawbacks to the repertoire system are increased production costs as each show will need separate sets, props, costumes and actors, (although sometimes an actor will be engaged to play in more than one production). Many such companies are large, and are able to have a smaller space available to workshop an experimental production or present playreadings. A workshop is a room or Building which provides both the area and Tools (or machinery) that may be required for the manufacture or repair But the standard should be higher than under the old-time repertory system, because there will be more time for rehearsal. Also many repertoire companies today have non-profit status, so that budgets and income should be higher because they will not just depend upon ticket sales. A non-profit organization ( abbreviated "NPO" also "not-for-profit" is a legally constituted Organization whose objective is to support or engage However, the downside is that promotional costs will also be much higher due to having to employ a separate staff.