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Theatre Vocabulary


Title: Theatre Vocabulary Author: sean.kelly Last modified by: Kelly, Sean Created Date: 4/16/2012 4:36:04 PM Document presentation format: On-screen Show (4:3) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Theatre Vocabulary

Theatre Vocabulary
  • Words and terms you should know

Section 1 theaterStructure
  • Parts and places
  • inside a theatER.

First things first
  • TheatER The structure within which theatrical
    performances are given. Usually includes an
    orchestra or seating area, and a stage.
  • TheatRE A collaborative art form including the
    composition, enactment, and interpretation of
    dramatic presentations for an audience.

The Actors perspective
  • Center stage The center of the area defined as
    the stage.
  • Downstage The stage area toward the audience.
  • Stage left The left side of the stage from the
    perspective of an actor facing the audience.
  • Stage right The right side of the stage from the
    perspective of an actor facing the audience.
  • Upstage Used as a noun, the stage area away from
    the audience used as a verb, to steal the focus
    of a scene.
  • Green Room Our classroom, or the area backstage
    where the actors wait during performances.

The Audience perspective
  • Catwalks Platforms and walkways above the
    audience that are used by stage technicians to
    access lighting, sound and effects instruments.
  • Orchestra Pit The area between the stage and the
    audience where the orchestra plays.
  • Front of house The area in the theater where the
    audience sits
  • Offstage/backstage The area of the stage
    concealed by the proscenium and drapery that is
    not seen by the audience
  • Booth Room above the audience wherein the light
    board operator, sound board operator, and stage
    manager run the show.

Checkpoint Define these terms
  • Catwalks
  • Front of house
  • Orchestra pit
  • Green room
  • Upstage
  • Stage Left
  • Stage Right
  • Center Stage
  • Downstage
  • Booth
  • Backstage/offstage

The big Picture
  • Proscenium The view of the stage for the
    audience also called a proscenium arch. The
    archway is in a sense the frame for stage as
    defined by the boundaries of the stage beyond
    which a viewer cannot see.
  • Teaser the border drapes across the top of the
    stage that conceals the lighting instruments
  • Tormentor The border drapes on the sides of the
    stage that conceal the backstage areas
  • Cyclorama The large muslin drape hung across the
    extreme upstage area that represents the sky.
  • Grand Drape The main curtain that conceals the
    stage from the audience. Usually red.
  • Apron The area of the stage on the audience side
    of the grand drape.

Now you see it, Now you dont
  • Fly Rail The ropes, pulleys, and arbors off
    stage right that control the height of the
    drapes, electrics, battens, and hanging scenery.
  • Battens Pipes hung above the width of the stage
    that can be used for hanging scenery.
  • Electric A batten affixed with electrical
    outlets used for hanging and powering lighting
  • Backdrop A large piece of painted fabric hung
    behind the actors. Usually painted to resemble a
    realistic location.

CheckpointDefine these terms
  • Proscenium
  • Teaser
  • Tormentor
  • Cyclorama
  • Grand drape
  • Apron
  • Fly Rail
  • Battens
  • Electric
  • Backdrop

Theatre Structure QuizScavenger Hunt
  • Select a partner (ONE partner)
  • Take out a SINGLE piece of paper for your team.
  • Number it from 1-21
  • Find the numbers in the space, and write the
    corresponding term next to the number.
  • The first 3 teams to turn their quiz in to me
    (all terms correct) get a prize!

Section 2Acting Vocabulary
  • Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it
    to you, trippingly on the tongue

Who Are you?
  • Actor/Actress A male or female person who
    performs a role in a play, television, or movie.
  • Director The person who oversees the entire
    process of staging a production.
  • Ensemble A group of theatrical artists working
    together to create a theatrical production.
  • Stage crew The backstage technical crew
    responsible for running the show. In small
    theatre companies the same persons build the set
    and handle the load-in. Then, during
    performances, they change the scenery and handle
    the curtain.
  • Stage manager The directors liaison backstage
    during rehearsal and performance. The stage
    manager is responsible for the running of each

Moving about
  • Blocking The planning and working out of the
    movements of actors on stage.
  • Cross A movement from one part of the stage to
  • Position The direction an actor is facing
    relative to the audience, but from the actors
  • Gesture An expressive movement of the body or
  • Tableau A silent and motionless depiction of a
    scene created by actors, often from a picture
    (plural tableaux).

CheckpointDefine these terms
  • Actor/Actress
  • Director
  • Ensemble
  • Stage Crew
  • Stage Manager
  • Blocking
  • Cross
  • Position
  • Gesture
  • Tableau

Oral exam
  • Volume The degree of loudness or intensity of a
  • Vocal quality The characteristics of a voice,
    such as shrill, nasal, raspy, breathy, booming,
    and so forth.
  • Projection The placement and delivery of volume,
    clarity, and distinctness of voice for
    communicating to an audience.
  • Pitch The highness or lowness of voice
  • Articulation The clear and precise pronunciation
    of words.

Feelings, nothing more than feelings
  • Sense memory Memories of sights, sounds, smells,
    tastes, and textures. It is used to help define a
    character in a certain situation.
  • Subtext Information that is implied by a
    character but not stated by a character in
    dialogue, including actions and thoughts
  • Objective A characters goal or intention
  • Motivation A characters reason for doing or
    saying things in a play.
  • Characterization The development and portrayal
    of a personality through thought, action,
    dialogue, costuming, and makeup.

CheckpointDefine these terms
  • Volume
  • Projection
  • Vocal Quality
  • Pitch
  • Articulation
  • Sense memory
  • Subtext
  • Objective
  • Motivation
  • Characterization

Section 3The page
  • From Billy Wiggle-sticks, to Eric Bogosian, it
    all starts with a script.

Set the action to the word
  • Text Printed words, including dialogue and the
    stage directions for a script.
  • Dialogue The conversation between actors on
  • Monologue A long speech by a single character.
  • Play The stage representation of an action or a
    story a dramatic composition.
  • Stage Direction The actions of a play printed in
    the script by the publisher.

A Comedy of Errors
  • Genre The main types of literary form,
    principally tragedy and comedy, but also forms
    that are more specific such as the revenge
    tragedy, or comedy of manners.
  • Style The distinctive and unique manner in which
    a writer arranges words to achieve particular
    effects. Usually associated with a historical era
    or period of time it was most popular.
  • Dramatic structure The particular literary
    structure and style in which plays are written
  • Tragedy In the classical sense, a play that
    demonstrates a characters fall from grace,
    power, position, or moral standing through their
    own actions.
  • Comedy A theatrical work that is intentionally

CheckpointDefine these terms
  • Text
  • Dialogue
  • Monologue
  • Play
  • Stage Direction
  • Genre
  • Style
  • Dramatic Structure
  • Tragedy
  • Comedy

The Plot thickens
  • Plot The ordered structure of a play as the
    action progresses through the story.
  • Rising action The part of a plot consisting of
    complications and discoveries that create
  • Protagonist The character through whose eyes we
    see the action of a play.
  • Antagonist A person or a situation that opposes
    the protagonists goals or desires.
  • Conflict Opposition of persons or forces giving
    rise to dramatic action.

and thickens
  • Crisis A decisive point in the plot of a play on
    which the outcome of the remaining action
  • Climax The point of greatest dramatic tension in
    a theatrical work.
  • Denouement The final resolution of the conflict
    in a plot the tying up of loose ends.
  • Exposition Detailed information revealing the
    facts of a plot.
  • Given Circumstances the information laid out in
    the exposition where, when, socioeconomic
    conditions, political climate, etc.

CheckpointDefine these terms
  • Plot
  • Rising Action
  • Protagonist
  • Antagonist
  • Conflict
  • Exposition
  • Crisis
  • Rising action
  • Climax
  • Denouement

Section 4The Process
  • Once more WITH FEELING!

2 Minutes to shine
  • Cold reading A reading of a script done by
    actors who have not previously reviewed the play.
  • Dress rehearsalsThe final few rehearsals just
    prior to opening night in which the show is run
    with full technical elements. Full costumes and
    makeup are worn.
  • Tech rehearsals Rehearsals where technical
    elements such as sound and lighting are added to
    the show.
  • Pacing The tempo of an entire theatrical
  • Informal theatre A theatrical performance that
    focuses on small presentations, such as one
    taking place in a classroom setting. Usually, it
    is not intended for public view.
  • Formal theatre Theatre that focuses on public
    performance in the front of an audience and in
    which the final production is most important.

Ill take Theatre Styles for 800, Alex.
  • Improvisation A spontaneous style of theatre
    through which scenes are created without advance
    rehearsal or a script.
  • Melodrama A dramatic form popular in the 1800s
    and characterized by an emphasis on plot and
    physical action (versus characterization),
    cliff-hanging events, heart- tugging emotional
    appeals, the celebration of virtue, and a
    strongly moralistic tone.
  • Mime An incident art form based on pantomime in
    which conventionalized gestures are used to
    express ideas rather than represent actions.
  • Musical theatre A type of entertainment
    containing music, songs, and, usually, dance.

CheckpointDefine these terms
  • Cold Reading
  • Dress Rehearsal
  • Tech Rehearsal
  • Pacing
  • Informal Theatre
  • Formal Theatre
  • Improvisation
  • Melodrama
  • Mime
  • Musical Theatre

Theatre styles for 1000.
  • Pantomime Acting without words through facial
    expression, gesture, and movement.
  • Puppetry Almost anything brought to life by
    human hands to create a performance. Types of
    puppets include rod, hand, and marionette.
  • Theatrical conventions The established
    techniques, practices, and devices unique to
    theatrical productions.

Where does he get those wonderful toys
  • Wagon Any piece of scenery on a wheeled platform
    designed to be moved on and off stage.
  • Props (properties) Items carried on stage by an
    actor small items on the set used by the actors.
  • Set Piece Anything not carried by an actor.
  • Masks Coverings worn over the face or part of
    the face of an actor to emphasize or neutralize
    facial characteristics.
  • Make-up Cosmetics and sometimes hairstyles that
    an actor wears on stage to emphasize facial
    features, historical periods, characterizations,
    and so forth.
  • Costume Clothing worn by an actor on stage
    during a performance.

CheckpointDefine these terms
  • Pantomime
  • Puppetry
  • Theatrical Conventions
  • Wagon
  • Properties
  • Set piece(s)
  • Masks
  • Makeup
  • Costume