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Theatre Terminology and Stage Directions

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Title: Theatre Terminology and Stage Directions


1
Theatre Terminologyand Stage Directions
2
Ad-Lib
  • To improvise stage business or conversation,
    especially when an actor has missed or forgotten
    lines and other actors must supply the missing
    information

3
Amphitheater
  • An oval or round structure with no roof that has
    tiers of seats rising from the center, used for
    public performances of plays and other productions

4
Apron
  • The section of the stage in front of the curtain

5
Arena Theater
  • A stage without a proscenium arch and with seats
    on three or four sides, allowing close
    association between actors and spectators

6
Aside
  • A line spoken directly to the audience

7
Backdrop
  • A large piece of cloth, on which scenery is
    painted, that is fastened to battens and hung at
    the back of the stage setting
  • Also called a drop

8
Backstage
  • The area behind the set that is not visible to
    the audience, including dressing rooms, the
    greenroom, etc.

9
Black Box Theater
  • A large square room with black walls and a flat
    floor
  • seating is typically loose chairs on platforms,
    which can be easily moved or removed to allow the
    entire space to be adapted to the artistic
    elements of a production

10
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11
Blackout
  • Stage direction to turn off all stage lights
    suddenly

12
Blocking
  • Movement and groupings on the stage

13
Business
  • Any specific action, other than a change of
    location, performed on the stage, such as picking
    up a book or pouring tea
  • Used to establish atmosphere, reveal character,
    or explain a situation

14
Cheat
  • A stage technique in which an actor who is facing
    sideways pivots the torso and turns the face
    toward the audience

15
Closed Audition
  • A tryout open only to union members

16
Cold Reading
  • A tryout during which an actor uses material
    never seen before

17
Cross
  • To move from one position to another on stage

18
Cue
  • The last words, action, or technical effect that
    immediately precedes any line or business
  • A stage signal

19
Curtain Calls
  • The appearance of a plays cast in response to an
    audiences applause
  • Bows at the end of the play

20
Cut
  • To stop action
  • To Omit

21
Cyclorama (Cyc)
  • A white background curtain on which lights or
    other effects can be projected

22
Dress Rehearsal
  • An uninterrupted rehearsal with costumes and
    props
  • The final rehearsal before the first performance

23
Flat
  • A wooden frame covered with cloth used as the
    basic unit of structure of a box set

24
Fly
  • The area above the stage where scenery is hung
    when not in use
  • A system for hanging drops
  • Verb to raise or lower scenery

25
Follow Spot
  • A long range lighting instrument capable of
    picking up or following a person moving on the
    stage

26
Fourth Wall
  • The imaginary wall through which the audience
    watches the action of the play

27
Gel
  • A transparent color medium placed on lighting
    instruments to produce different colors

28
Gobo
  • A stencil placed in the gel holder of a spotlight
    to project a pattern

29
Grand Drape
  • The curtain hung just upstage of the proscenium
    that opens and closes at each act or scene
  • Also called an act curtain

30
Greenroom
  • A waiting area offstage used by actors
  • We use the choir room

31
Holding for Laughs
  • Waiting for an audience to quiet down after a
    humorous line or scene

32
Improvisation
  • The impromptu portrayal of a character or a scene
    without any rehearsal or preparation

33
Legs
  • Narrow drapes, usually hung in pairs, stage left
    and stage right, to mask the backstage area

34
Monologue
  • A speech by a single actor

35
Motivation
  • The reason behind a characters behavior

36
Objectives
  • The goal of a character what the character wants
    or is striving for in a scene

37
Off Book
  • Rehearsal without scripts

38
Off Stage
  • Off the visible stage
  • Also called off

39
Open Audition
  • Tryout open to nonunion actors

40
Periaktoi (Prisms)
  • Sets made up of three flats, shaped as triangles
    mounted on a wheeled carriage that can be pivoted

41
Pit
  • The front part of the auditorium where the
    orchestra might be located often below stage
    level

42
Projection
  • The control of the volume and quality of the
    voice so that it can be heard clearly by everyone
    in an audience

43
Proscenium Arch
  • The arch opening between the stage and the
    auditorium

44
Readers Theatre
  • A form of theater in which plays are read to an
    audience from a script and brought to life by the
    readers voices, facial expressions, and
    controlled movement

45
Scrim
  • A drop made of fabric that seems almost opaque
    when lit from the front and semitransparent when
    lit from behind

46
Stealing a Scene
  • Attracting attention from the person to whom the
    center of interest legitimately belongs

47
Strike
  • To remove an object or objects from the stage
  • To take down the set

48
Tableau
  • A scene presented by silent, unmoving actors
  • For more info, see
    Pageant of the
    Masters

49
Thespian
  • An actor

50
Understudy
  • A person who learns a role and who can perform it
    in the absence of the actor

51
Wings
  • The offstage areas to the right and left of the
    set

52
Stage Directions
UP



Up Right UR
Up Center UC
Up Left UL
RIGHT
LEFT
Center C
Right Center RC
Left Center LC
Down Right DR
Down Center DC
Down Left DL
DOWN
Audience
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