repertory or repertoire or rep



  • A list of plays that a theater company performs on a rotatingbasis, usually on a weekly schedule, or has ready to be presentedat short notice. Although early travelling companies could repeat the same play at different locations, once permanent theaters were established, different plays had to be presented in rotation to attract a larger nightlyaudience. The repertory system therefore became the norm.During the 18th and 19th centuries, repertory companieswere called stock companies, the name by which they are stillknown in America. At the beginning of the 19th century, most US citieshad a resident repertory company. London's Royal Court Theatre operatedas a repertory theater from 1904 - 07 under Granville-barker.By the early 20th century the rising expense of producing commercialplays in London and New York had led to the practice of staging acontinuous run of a single play in the hope of achieving a long-runninghit. There are now two national repertory companies in Britain, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, and several inBritain's regional theaters. 'Repertoire' theaters also still exist on the Continent.

    The terms 'repertory' and 'repertoire' also refer to the collectionof roles played by an individual actor or actress, especially thoseparts for which he or she is especially known.