Guide to reviewing or reporting on theater productions


Tanghalang Nicando Abelardo (Main Theater),
Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Curtain design is patterned after the painting 'Genesis,'
by National Artist Hernando Ocampo.
Publications have their respective style guides or style manuals. For example, we have the Associated Press Stylebook and New York Times Manual of Style and Usage.

(Some) writers have their own styles/preferences, here are some of mine when I write articles:

- play, not "straight play;" there is no such thing as a "non-straight play"

- theater, not theatre; unless proper noun (we are not in the UK nor were we a British colony). I reject the claim that "theater" means venue and "theatre" means the art form.

- do not use marketing/publicity titles or descriptors (e.g. "King of Philippine Theater" or "Enfant Terrible of Philippine Theater")

- Tagalog translation, not Filipino translation; unless writing for international readership.

- sarsuwela, not sarswela
- spell as sarsuwela and komedya if written by Filipinos (use zarzuela and comedia if written by Spaniards or Mexicans)
- when mentioning "komedya," endeavor to explain that it does not mean "comedy" and that it is derived from the spanish word "comedia" meaning "play" or "drama"
- theater genre, not theater form (scholars prefer to use "theater forms" instead of "theater genres" but laymen readers will readily understand "genre.")

- use correct/official name of a theater
- Carlos Romulo Auditorium, not RCBC Theater
- Peta-Phinma Theater, not Peta Theater (Peta-Phinma Theater is located at the Peta Theater Center)
     in relation; when writing down addresses, spell out acronyms
     in relation; for venues located in real estate/property developments named with "city" (e.g. Eastwood City and Bonifacio Global City), mention the real city (i.e. Eastwood City, Quezon City; Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City)

- set design, not scenic design
- set and costume design, instead of production design

- additional shows, additional run or extended run; if within same calendar year or theater season
- restaging; if last staging was last year or if last theater season

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