|Status: This page describes an active style guideline proposal and is not official.|
A “theatre” release is a recording of a work for the theatre involving music, songs, and/or spoken dialogue, occasionally also including dance. Typically these works are of a musical nature, but they may also be dramatic or comedic.
This guideline specifically applies only to non-opera theatre releases. Opera is covered by a different style guideline. Depending on the release, it may be more appropriate to instead apply classical style or audiobook style. Theatre Style also applies to soundtracks for television or film versions of musical theater shows.
The release type should be “Soundtrack”, even for live cast recordings. “Compilation” should only be used for a true compilation. The presence of multiple complete or nearly-complete shows on the same release does not make the release type compilation.
The recording artist credit should be to the performer. If the performer is unknown, use [unknown]. In some cases, the performer may not be suitable for a separate artist (e.g. “Full cast”, “Ensemble”, “Nun's Chorus”). In such cases, link the Special Purpose Artist [soundtrack], credited as it appears on the release.
Track Artist Credits should be as listed on the release. In most cases this will be the composer. Again, in some cases, the credited artist may not be suitable for a separate artist (e.g. “Full cast”, “Ensemble”, “Nun's Chorus”). In such cases, use the Special Purpose Artist [soundtrack], credited as it appears on the release. If there are no credited per-track artists, use the release artist, or the composer if there is no clear release artist.
In most cases, the release group and release artist credit should be to the composer(s), rather than performer(s), lyricist(s), or librettist(s). Performer(s), lyricist(s), and/or librettist(s) should be indicated using advanced relationships. Casts should be indicated using disambiguation comments.
For theatre releases which are non-musical, artist credit should be to the writer/author of the work. The Special Purpose Artist of [unknown] should be used for those cases where the writer is unknown.
Make sure to add appropriate relationships for composers, lyricists, and authors.
The following commonly credited composer/lyricist collaborations should be expressed as joint artist credits to the composer and lyricist:
- Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II as: Rodgers & Hammerstein
- William Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan as: Gilbert & Sullivan
- John Kander & Fred Ebb as: Kander & Ebb
- Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe as: Lerner & Loewe
- Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart as: Rodgers & Hart
The performance cast, including year, may be placed in the disambiguation comment. It should not be included in the title unless it is actually part of the release title. Examples:
- Carousel (1956 film cast)
- State Fair (1945 & 1962 film casts) (two different recordings, by two different casts, on the same release)
“Broadway revival cast” is correct, not “new Broadway cast”, as the 2004 Broadway cast is only the “new” cast until the next “newer” cast at some point in the future performs that same show in the same location. “Revival” should only be used within the cast information if “revival” or “new” appears on the liner; it should not be otherwise assumed.
Within the cast information, only proper nouns (e.g. “London”, “Broadway”, “Senator Theatre”) should be capitalized. All other words (e.g. “cast”, “original”, “demo”, “revival”) should be lower-cased.
Incorrect: Allegro (1947 Original Broadway Cast)
For compilations of songs from different shows not compiled as part of a theatrical revue, or where the songs are performed by different casts, do not include the cast information in the release and release group titles (unless it actually is part of the title of the release). Instead, the cast information should be placed in the disambiguation comment where necessary.
Cast information should be appended to each track title:
- Over the Rainbow (A revue by different casts.)
Cast should not be appended to each track title:
- The Magic of Broadway (Album by release artist 101 Strings Orchestra.)
- Allegro (1947 original Broadway cast) (Not a compilation.)
- The Very Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Compilation, but of soloist performers, not entire casts. Use performance ARs. Optionally, list the performers in the disambiguation comment.)
Note: The intent of this guideline is to avoid the creation of “Cast of (some show)” artists whenever possible. If it makes more sense to handle a special case differently, such as Glee Cast, differently, then common sense should overrule this guideline.
Theatre Style applies:
- Studio recording of a musical theatre work
- Soundtracks to films based upon musical theatre shows. Theatre Style overrides the generic Soundtrack Style.
- Demo cast recording for a musical theatre work:
- Non-musical theatre release, using the writer, Brian Daley, as the artist.
- Live bootleg of a theatre cast with a known performance date:
- Live bootleg of a theatre cast with an unknown performance date, where only the performance season is known:
- Studio recording of a musical theatre work:
- Barnum (1980 original Broadway Cast)
- Pacific Overtures (2004 Broadway revival cast)
- Zorba (1983 Broadway revival cast)
- Original and revival casts.
Theatre Style does not apply:
- These are operas. Opera, not Theatre Style, would apply:
- A musical theater-themed album is not automatically considered a “theatre release”.