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Theatre, PHD

QuestionAnswer
Ad-Lib To make up words or dialogue on the spot, to speak at liberty.
Aside For an actor to speak directly to the audience (not always meant to be heard).
Arena Type of performance space with audience surrounding all sides of the stage.
Apron Front part or area of the stage extending past the main act curtain, also called lip.
Backdrop Painted cloth or set wall built to serve as a background for the setting on stage.
Black Box Type of performance space that is small, created out of a room, painted all black.
Blocking precise Stage directions and movements given to an actor by the script or the director.
Box Set A type of setting that is built on the stage to look like the interior of a house or room, having three walls and no ceiling.
Build Rising intensity or climbing action that develops within a scene or entire play.
Business Busy work for the actor while playing on the stage to establish character, setting, and situation.
Call The time one must be at the Theatre or ready to go onto to stage.
Callback A second, more specific audition where a director looks closer at given actors.
Catharsis For an audience to have an emotional reaction while watching a performance where they purge themselves of their pity and fears.
Center Stage The middle point of the performance space, symbolized by CS in blocking notes.
Cheat Out A body position for the stage wherein the actor faces more towards the audience.
Chorus A group of performers that make up the community of characters within a play, having few lines individually, and seen on stage as one entity.
Climax The high point of action or conflict within a scene or a play.
Cold Reading 1. A first look at a script, seeking an actors interpretation of the text, without rehearsing first; used at an audition.
Cross 1. To move from one point of the stage to another. Symbolized by an X in blocking notation.
Cue 1. A signal or line that prompts the next action or stage business during a performance.
Downstage The area of the performance space that is closest to the audience.
Dramatic irony 1. Happens when the audience knows more information about the plot and situations in a play than certain characters do.
Dress Rehearsal 1. The final rehearsal(s) of a play before it opens to the public; utilizing all costumes, props, lighting, sound, and set changes.
Dry Tech 1. A rehearsal that is run without the actors, bringing together all the technical aspects of a show, following the cues in the order that they are executed.
Dumb Show 1. Performed at the beginning of a performance, showing the audience through actions, and no words, a parody of what they are about to see.
Exposition 1. The background information of a story, usually told at the beginning of a play through narration or dialogue.
Flat 1. A constructed piece of scenery, usually made of wood and/or canvas, used to create a set wall or backdrop for a stage setting.
Floor Plan 1. A drawn picture of a set, as seen from a bird's eye view (from above), using geometric shapes to represent set pieces and levels.
Fly System 1. A system of rigging and ropes that is used to raise and lower scenery within on stage, operated by hand or mechanically from backstage.
Follow Spot 1. A concentrated source of light that illuminates a performer on stage, and stays with them as they move; most often coming from a spotlight instrument.
Fourth Wall 1. The imaginary divide that separates the audience from the performance space.
Grand 1. The main act curtain or drape that hangs at the front of the stage, always found in a Proscenium theatre, and usually is of a royal color.
Hold 1. A command called out by a director wherein the actors must hold their stage positions or take a pause in the action of the scene.
House 1. The area of a theatre where the audience sits or watches from.
Major Role 1. A character part that is dominant in the plot of a play, having many scripted lines.
Masking 1. 1. Curtains, drapes, or set walls that are used to block the audiences sight from the backstage. 2. Used in stage combat to block the audiences sight from certain moves.
Melodrama 1. A style of overacting that focuses on contrived action rather than realistic characterization or situations; dramatized for effect.
Minor Role 1. A supporting character to a story, having less stage time and lines than a Major.
Monologue 1. A speech performed by one performer, giving depth and insight into a characters thoughts or feelings; also called a soliloquy.
Pantomime 1. To act out very physically without using words; a style of acting that is most often utilized in Children's Theatre.
Pit 1. The area, usually below the front part of the stage, where the orchestra is set up to play the music for a live performance.
Presentational 1. A style of performance where the characters or performers make aware of the audience's presence, often breaking the fourth wall.
Properties 1. Used to enhance a scene or characterization, abbreviated-props. 1. Stage: large, stay on the set. 2. Hand: small, used by many actors. 3. Personal: used only by one actor, and stays with them.
Proscenium 1. The most common type of Theatre space, known for its framed arch that outlines the stage opening, having the audience facing one side directly in front.
Raked 1. A type of stage that slopes downward towards the audience, built at gradual angle.
Sides 1. Selections taken from a script used for an actor to read a scene aloud (usually used at an audition for a cold reading).
Sight Lines 1. The audience's view of a performance space, being blocked from the backstage.
Spectacle 1. Large scenery or set pieces used for awe and illusion in a performance.
Spike 1. To mark the stage floor, usually with colored tape, where set pieces will rest.
Stage Combat 1. A style of acted movement that is planned out, or choreographed, to look like real fighting between characters within a performance.
Stage Manager 1. The head technician for a production; responsible for all backstage duties and jobs. Calls a show for cues and transitions, and keeps consistency accurate from show to show. Works very closely with actors, technicians, and the director.
Stage Right/Left 1. Sides of the stage that is determined according to the actors point of view facing the audience. Symbolized in blocking notation as SL and SR.
Strike 1. To take down a set or remove scenery or props from the stage; happens immediately at the end of a production run before the next show is brought in.
Subtext 1. The true meaning behind a spoken or scripted line, as interpreted by an actor.
Technician 1. One who works on a crew for a production, lights, set, sound, costumes, props, etc.
Thrust 1. A type of performance space where the audience surrounds three sides, and raises high above a very open stage; usually there is no main act curtain.
Traveler 1. A type of curtain or masking (black) that hides the audience's view of the backstage.
Understudy 1. A performer who studies the part of another role, so that they might perform it in the absence of the actor who was originally cast.
Upstage 1. 1. The area of the performance space that is farthest away from the audience.
Wings 1. The offstage areas directly to the right and left of the performance space.
Created by: The Real Bazinga