I am sorry to be so long about forwarding this. After our system's
difficulties of last week, I confess I simply forgot.... If you have an
interest in this USENET RFD, please direct your comments to Mark at the
address below. AAY
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 1994 02:13:51 EST
From: Mark Kupferman <[log in to unmask]>
To: Multiple recipients of list PERFORM
<[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Revised RFD - rec.arts.theatre.*
- - - - - - FORWARD - - - - - -
After much discussion and comments of the creation of the newsgroup
rec.arts.theatre.musicals, it has been generally acknowledged that,
rather than merely creating a sub group, it might be more elegant and
benficial to create a hierchy. This new RFD reflects those changes.
This is the formal Request For Discussion that calls for the creation
of four groups and the elimination of two groups, with the ultimate
intent of consolidating all of the theatre related groups into one
hierchy. The groups that would be created would be rec.arts.theatre.
plays, rec.arts.theatre.musicals, rec.arts.theatre.stagecraft, and
rec.arts.theatre.misc. All of these groups would be unmoderated.
- - - - - - NAMES - - - - - -
To be created:
To be superceded (eliminated, if you will)
- - - - - - CHARTER - - - - - -
Some people really believe theatre is dying. After all, hasn't it
been overrun by television, movies, and virtual reality? Aren't those
theatres that still exist struggling year in and year out to fill the
seats? Why on Earth would anyone believe that there was enough
interest in the theatre to dedicate at least FOUR newsgroups to
discussion of the theatre? Has someone gone INSANE?
Theatre isn't dying. Not even close. If you check out the state of
theatre over the last three thousand years, you'll notice that theatre
is actually celebrating a kind of rennesance of it's own. There are
thousands and thousands of theatres all over the world! There are
regional theatres, Broadway theatres, summerstock theatres, community
theatres, college theatres, high school theatres, dinner theatres...
Never in this century has there been as many theatres or as many
people interested in theatre as there are today. Never has there been
so many people who actually hold college degrees in theatre.
The point is, theater today is very popular, and people like to
discuss it. And they do. As suprising as it might sound, there is a
lot of theatre related traffic on the internet--both in currently
existing newsgroups and in a variety of mailing lists. If you do a
Veronica search of the word theatre you'll fill up the buffer, there
are so many references. As more and more people become involved in
the internet and Usenet, they're looking for a place to discuss and
learn about things that they do off the net.
- - - - - - rec.arts.theatre.musicals - - - - - -
In the book _Broadway_, Brook Atkinson says "From a scholarly point of
view, the musical show may be more legitimate then the spoken drama. If
the art of theater began with trbial festivals, with singing, dancing,
pantomime, mummery, and celebration in primative times, the musical
show retains more of the original ingredients and spirit than the
spoken drama. What the spoken drama has gained in form and mind, it
has lost in scope and variety." (1)
Ask anyone you meet on the street, and chances are they've heard of
_Cats_, _Phantom_of_the_Opera_, _Oklahoma!, _Hair!_, _A_Chorus_Line_,
and any of the other hundreds of musicals that get revived time after
time throughout the world. Musicals such as _Falsettos_ and _Miss
Saigon_ have helped us to deal with contemporary issues in a way not
possible in any other medium, while other shows such as _Forever_Plaid
have taken us back to the music of our youth. In all cases, the
spirited song from the stage seems to bear a magical quality that sets
our toes tapping, our lips moving, and our hearts free.
Rec.arts.theatre.musicals is a new newsgroup intended to provide a home
for everyone to share their experience, ideas, thoughts, and comments
about musicals. It is a place to talk about musicals being performed on
Broadway, musicals being performed in community theaters, musicals performed
in college theaters, and musicals being performed in community theaters.
Rec.arts.theatre.musicals is a place to discuss subsidiary issues related
to musical theater, such as cast albums and televised performances. It is
a place to talk about the actors you loved in _______ and the actors you
hated in __________. It is a place to share gossip and tidbits about
upcoming performances and a place to ask questions about what musicals are
playing where. It is a place to ask about ticket prices.
- - - - - - rec.arts.theatre.plays - - - - - -
While musicals and operas seem to have captured part of the limelight
for the last few hundred years, plays have been delighting audiences
since thousands of years ago. Whether you're a fan of the tragedies
performed at the City Dionysus in 534 bc, Roman fabula togatas of
150 bc, Sanskrit dramas of the fourth century A.D., liturgical
dramas of the early middle ages, religious cycles of the fourteenth
century, morality plays of the sixteenth century, neoclassical theatre,
naturalistic theatre, or contemporary theatre, rec.arts.theatre.plays is
the place to bring to light all of your dramaturgical questions and
- - - - - - rec.arts.theatre.stagecraft - - - - - -
It was once said that the only thing you need for theatre is some
actors and an audience, but the fact is we enjoy performances a lot
more when there is some kind of atmosphere and context. We've grown
used to seeing magic happen on the stage, but what it takes to create
that magic is a lot of technical knowledge that can only serve the
world better if it is distributed.
- - - - - - rec.arts.theatre.misc - - - - - -
What is the purpose of theatre? What purpose is theatre going to serve
in the twenty first century? Does theatre need to serve a function?
What is appropriate dress to wear to the theatre? How does one go about
finding a theatre? How does one spell theatre/er?
There are a lot of questions that clearly don't fall into the discussion
of plays, the discussion of musicals, or the discussion of stagecraft.
Rec.arts.theatre.misc is a new group intended to cover all of these
issues including but not limited to topics such as: acting, directing,
theatre management, design, and stage management.
- - - - - - RULES - - - - - -
ALL FOUR GROUPS ARE UNMODERATED
All four newsgroups will be unmoderated, which means anyone is free to
post messages to the newsgroup. All criticism ought to be constructive
and polite, and all messages ought to be compatable with generally
accepted nettiquite. Personal messages in the newsgroup is discouraged,
although not so that it limits free and unencumbered discussion.
CROSSPOSTING WITHIN REC.ARTS.THEATRE.*
Like other hierchies, all of the newsgroups within the r.a.t.* are
related, yet at the same time we have to acknowledge that they are
seperate groups and that there will be a tendency to cross-post
announcements between the groups. However, it is also acknowledged
that anyone capable of reading one of the four groups will most
likely know about and have access to the other groups in the hierchy.
Therefore, we can logically conclude that if someone isn't subscribed
to all four groups it is for a reason, and not a mischance.
The point is this: Consistant crossposting between all four newsgroups
ultimately defeats the purpose of having seperate newsgroups.if you have a
message that is truly related to more than one of the topics, such as a play
with a lot of music or if you are talking about how the tire rises in the
Broadway production of _Cats_, then by all means users are encouraged to
cross-post their message to more than one group. However, just because you
*really* need to know who wrote the play _Chryseide_and_Arimand_ doesn't
mean you ought to post the message to rec.arts.theatre.stagecraft.
Posters are asked to use their own judgement regarding what ought to
be discussed in more than one group.
USE OF FOLLOWUP-TO: ENCOURANGED WHEN CROSSPOSTING
If you ARE going to crosspost between the four groups, it is recommended
that you include a "Followup-To:" expression in the header of your
message, which will ultimately point traffic towards one group. The
justification for this is because the assumption is once again made that
people will tend to read all four of the groups and that having the same
thread appear in two, three or four newsgroups will ultimately prove
annoying. Under this method, people who do not read all four groups will
at least know the discussion is taking place and will have the option
of engaging in that discussion by joining whichever group the topic is
being followed up to. This will hopefully eliminate superfluous net
- - - - - - BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION- - - - - -
WHY SUPERCEDE REC.ARTS.THEATRE WITH REC.ARTS.THEATRE.*?
For a long time it has been rightly maintained that perhaps there
wasn't enough activity in rec.arts.theatre to justify the creation
of an entire hierchy. If it works, why take the risk of breaking it?
But as USENET has expanded and as more and more people are posting
messages, many of the readers began to acknowledge that perhaps it
was time to subdivide discussion into more managable chunks. This
isn't about "getting rid of" a particular group any more than it
is about keeping some other group. Rather, it is about making the
structure of the group match the needs of the readers.
It has been suggested, for example, that people use kill files to
eliminate unwanted discussion. But the fact is, unwanted discussion
isn't the problem. It's not that people aren't interested in a
certain type of message--it's just that people aren't interested
in discussing apples an oranges at the same time. I may not want
to read about musicals when I'm concentrating on techincally
related messages or issues in the theatre, but I will want to read
about them before or after. I certainly don't want to eliminate them.
It has also been suggested that prefixes be used to seperate
different kinds of messages, bothe for the purposes of kill files
and for the sake of categorizing messages. This is a stopgap measure
at best. First of all, people simply don't care enough to memorize
a list of approved prefixes. Second, people don't care enough to
use prefixes. Maybe some do, but not enough to solve the problem.
Plus, I don't think anyone wants to feel that they need to put
special codes at the beginning of each of their messages--most
people just want to post. Finally, prefixes have already been tried.
It didn't work. People didn't use them. While it is an excellent
idea, it just doesn't seem to work well enough in rec.arts.theatre
to solve the problem.
As up to 100 message a day appear in rec.arts.theatre, it gets
harder and harder to keep up. Many people have abandoned the
newsgroup completely in favor of mailing lists that are more
focused than rec.arts.theatre, which ultimately limits the
propigation of their thoughts and comments when in fact they
could be sharing with the entire net.
A rec.arts.theatre hierchy will solve many of these issues while
at the same time setting precident for the eventual expansion of
the group as a whole. Should any topic, such as acting for example,
be popular to warrent it's own topic, it will ultimately be easy
to add it within the rec.arts.theatre hierchy.
In the end, the hierchy proposal is the result of a lot of
discussion between many of the contributors to rec.arts.theatre.
WHY SUPERCEDE ALT.STAGECRAFT WITH REC.ARTS.THEATRE.STAGECRAFT?
Stagecraft and technical production is a legitimate part of the
theater. It is an important part of the theater. Theater today
would not be the same without it. The fact is, an awful lot of
sites don't receive alt.*, and a lot of people interested in
theater can only hear about technical discussion from friends who
happen to have access. Considering rapid expansion in all areas
of theatrical discussion on the internet, perhaps it is now
time for stagecraft to assume it's legitimate place in the Usenet
hierchy, where it will be able to serve the most good to the
- - - - - - REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD) - - - - - -
This RFD will be sent to the following newgroups:
This RFD will be sent to the following mailing lists:
theatre The theatre discussion list
perform-l Performance Studies List
ARTMGT-l Arts Management Discussion Group
Stagecraft Stagecraft discussion list
Comedia A discussion of Hispanic Classic Theater
PERFORM Medieval Performing Arts
Followups will be directed to news.groups, as per USENET guidelines.
If you do not have access to Usenet, comments may be sent to
[log in to unmask]
Mark Kupferman [log in to unmask]
Yale School of Drama
Yale Repertory Theatre