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Theatre Terms


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Denouement What an actor wears to evoke the appearance of a particular
Cue A concluding scene in a play where the drama of the action.
Actor What happens at the end of the play.
Downstage This is the area toward the back of the stage, away from the
House lights Stage smoke is produced by the vaporization of various oil based
Monologue A designated break in a play. In cases where there is no
Onstage A performer in a play.
Batten The person who writes the play. In the case of living
Stage makeup The person who directs the play.
Intermission Short for the Latin ad libitum meaning ``freely."
Cast A scenic design that includes three walls and sometimes a
Box set What actors learn and speak on stage. The word is also used
Blackout Frozen carbon dioxide used to produce stage mist.
Rake The character who generates the main action of the story.
Props This is the slope of the floor of an auditorium or, where
Dialogue In its ordinary sense this refers to a group of musicians.
Backdrop A tubular metal bar, sometimes known as a pipe,.
Smoke This usually refers to the public areas of the theatre
Protagonist A light left on when a theatre is closed for the night.
Orchestra Pit A large piece of fabric hung down onto the stage floor.
Ghost light This is an opening in the stage floor. In cases where the design
Offstage Antagonists are present in almost every play.
Break a leg A lengthy speech by a single character delivered to other
Trap Room Narrow bridges above the stage from which scenery and lighting
Act This is what actors get if they forget their lines. Some
Auditorium This is a makeup used to shape and define actors' facial
Front of House This term is now used in a variety of ways. All the plays in
Antagonist A flat piece of painted scenery often consisting of a wooden frame.
Scenery The scenery for a scene or entire production. In the latter case it
Prompt The area behind and around the stage that it is unseen by the
Set A colloquial term for a stagehand.
Trap Conversation in a play.
Playwright The acting area of the stage floor.
Dry Ice These are the stage movements and positions that the director highlights.
Legs A theatrical blackout
Soliloquy A large drapery of painted canvas .
Drop A friendly, customary encouragement term offered to performers.
Lines A division in the performance of the play.
Grip Technically this refers to all stage areas outside the visible
Broadway Vertical curtains or flats used to hide the wings from view and
Upstage Objects on the stage such as furniture that are not part of the
Blocking The lights in the house or auditorium. Dimming of the
Ad lib The space below the stage used for accessing traps. It is
Orchestra The various flats, drops, etc. that are used to create a
Backstage This is a notification to cast and crew of a rehearsal or
Catwalk The famous theatre district of midtown Manhattan in which 32
House The front of the stage closest to the audience.
Flat Strictly it's an enclosed space in which an audience gathers.
Costume Where the Orchestra
Curtain call The place where the audience sits to enjoy the performance on
Repertory A prearranged sign that indicates to a performer
Call The complement of actors in a play.
Director This is a playwright's device for letting us know what's on a

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