Line (theater)

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In theatrical language , a line is a part of a stage work that should not be performed. So the “dash” is the deleted passage. Traditionally, this is marked in the text by a pencil line from the last character that is still valid to the first character that is valid again. Lines are made by the management team, such as the director and dramaturge , and entered by the ensemble together during the reading sample .

In the past centuries, numerous lines were decreed for political or moral reasons by the censorship or self-censorship in the theater; today they are mainly made for dramaturgical reasons or to limit the duration of the performance.

In music theater , in addition to the logic of the action, the musical logic must also be observed, especially the key connections between deleted passages must be correct. Many opera works have traditional strokes that are adopted from most of the productions.

A text with entered dashes is called a line version. If a deleted passage is to be reintegrated into the performance, it is said that the line is "opened".


  • Volker Klotz: Dramaturgy of the audience. How stage and audience interact . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1998, ISBN 3-8260-1500-2 .