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Theatre Terms

Terms for Theatre Arts 9th Grade

TermDefinition
Ad-lib To Improvise part or all of a scene or play
Apron The area of the stage extending beyond the proscenium wall.
Blocking The process of determining the placement or location of actors on stage and planning their relative movement in a scene.
Cross to move from one place to another on stage
Dialogue Passages of speech between characters in a play
Empathy Identification with and understanding of a characters situation, feelings, and motives.
Improvisation/Improv A situation in which the actors are provided with background on the setting and characters and then spontaneously invent dialogue and action.
Prompt To give actors their line. As actors move off book, the prompter follows the dialogue in a prompt book and, if an actor calls for his or her "line", the prompter provides a portion of the line to help the actor remember.
Set The surroundings on stage, visible to the audience, in which the action of a play develops
Spike The process of placing marks with either paint or tape to designated where pieces of scenery are to be placed
Monologue Long speech by a single actor similar to soliloquy. The speech is generally made by the actor as if speaking to himself and is revealing of his or her thoughts or feelings.
Pantomime From the Latin pantomimus, or "player of many parts". Through misunderstanding it came to mean description of a story by means of expression and movement only.
Act A unit or division of a play, each of which is composed of one or more scenes
Allusion a reference to another work of art, either directly or by implication
Aside -breaking the proscenium/fourth wall -refers to a speech or comment made by an actor directly to the audience about the action of the play or another character. -this comment is not heard or noticed by the other characters in the play
Climax In the traditional dramatic sense, the TURNING POINT, or the even in which leads to the "downfall" or falling action
Cue the words or actions at which an actor is expected to deliver a line or a crew member is expected to perform some task
Dramatic monologue a long, solo performance in which a speaker reveals his or her character, often in relation to a critical situation or event, in a speech addressed to the reader or to a presumed listener
Fourth Wall -imaginary wall that separates the actors on stage from the audience in the house -term now also applies to film/TV -"breaking the fourth wall" means an actor speaking directly to an audience
Mime -originally, actors in ancient Rome who performed in a popular, SPOKEN form or farcical drama -emphasis on character development rather than plot -among those who kept theatrical traditions alive during the Middle Ages
Narrator A specific character who is telling the accounts of the play
Plot The plan or arrangement of incidents in a play/ the story of a play
Prop All physical items on stage with the exception of the scenery. Props usually refer to things that can be carried or are specifically refereed to. Heavier items are considered scenery
Soliloquy A passage of narrative spoken by a single actor in which his or her thoughts are revealed to the audience
Created by: bomintbo