Theater Terms Answers

Flashcard maker : Maisie Clarke
aesthetic distance
Physical or psychological separation or detachment of audience from dramatic action, usually considered necessary for artistic illusion.
apron
(forestage) area in front of the main curtain
arena stage/theatre in the round
staging in the center of a room with the audience sitting on all sides of the stage
backdrop
Painted cloth or set wall built to serve as a background for the setting on stage.
backstage
stage area beyond the acting area, including the dressing rooms
balcony
second tier of seating
batten
a pipe suspended above the stage by lines that permit it to be raised or lowered; scenic pieces or lighting istruments may be hung from it. Battens support the top and bottom of curtains/drops to prevent wrinkles
beam
a horizontal light position over the audience
black box theater
A theatre that is usually small and that allows flexibility in the arrangement of audience to acting space. It is so named because the walls are usually painted black
blackout drop
a black drop behind the scrim drop, making it opaque
blocking
Arranging moves to be made by the actors.
boom
a vertical lighting position, either backstage or in the auditorium
booth
area in which the light and sound operators sit, usually in the rear of the theatre
border
drapery or short rope hanging across the stage above the acting area to mask the fly loft and overhead lights
box office
the place that sells tickets to a performance
callboard
notice board on which calls and all other information relevant to the production should be posted
catwalk
a narrow, elevated walkway in the ļ¬‚ies above a theater stage usually used to adjust lights, ropes and scenery.
center line
an imaginary line down the center of the stage, from upstage to downstage
color filter
Colored glass gelatin or other substance which transmits light of certain wavelengths and absorbs the others.
control board
A console containing controls for a number of dimmers. Also called a dimmer board
counterweight system
a system that uses lines, cables, and weights to raise and lower the battens that hold scenery, drops, and lights
crossover
a passageway that leads from one side of the stage to the other, out of view of the audience.
cyclorama
A curved wall at the back of the stage upon which light can be thrown to create effects — many times to simulate the sky. Also can be the most upstage curtain. Also called a “cyc”.
deck
the stage floor or many times the floor built on top of the permanent floor
downstage
The area of the stage closest to the audience
drama
a serious form of theatre that takes a thoughtful, sober attitude toward its subject matter.It puts the audience in a frame of mind to think carefully about what it sees and to become involved with the characters on stage
drop
A piece of cloth often painted to depict scenery, which is lowered from the grid to set a scene.
electrics
a group of battens, usually above the actors specifically used for lighting instruments.
ellipsoidal
a type of lighting instrument that produces a sharp edged beam using an ellipsoidal reflector and one or more lenses
entr’acte
orchestral opening to the second act of a musical, also a dance, musical number or interlude performed between the acts of a play
exit
leaving the stage and opening in the set that is used for leaving
false proscenium
a portal that sits in front of or inside the real proscenium, giving the set its own picture frame
fire curtain
protective curtain that seperates the audience and the stage in the event of a fire will eventually burn prevents audience from panicking often made from asbestos
flat
frame constructed of 1 by 3 boards, covered with canvas painted and used most often for interior or exterior walls of a building in a stage setting
fly loft (flies)
The open space above the stage where the scenery and equipment are flown.
follow spot
a long-range, high-wattage lighting instrument capable of picking up or following a person moving on the stage; with a beam strong enough to stand out against normal stage lighting, may be xenon, carbon arc, quartz, or incandescent type
fourth wall
Imaginary wall filling in the proscenium arch through which the audience can see in and observe the action of the play
fresnel
A spotlight that is used to create a soft beam of light that blends with others to create the appearance of an even area of light
grand drape
Also called the main drape, the grand curtain, or the main rag; the one that has to open for the show to start
house
rows of seats in which the audience sits to watch a performance
intermission
intervals between the acts or scenes allowing for set changes, audience respite, costume change, etc.
key light
The main light, usually a spotlight, that reveals the shape and surface features of the subject
legs (tormentors)
Drape set as masking piece at the side of the acting area. Usually set up in pairs across the stage and used in conjunction with borders to frame the audiences view. Apparently, the origin of the phrase “Break a Leg”, meaning to take an extra encore from the legs after a successful performance.
line set
a set of cables that hold on to a batten in a system for lifting scenery and lighting
loading rail
where you go to put weight on the arbor in a flying system
mezzanine
lower section of the second tier of seating
mise en scene
The visual setting of a dramatic performance, whether in a theatre or in film.
offstage
The area of the stage which the audience cannot see
orchestra pit
The space between the stage and the auditorium, usually below stage level, that holds the orchestra.
overture
Introduction to an opera or other large musical work.
PAR can
a very simple lighting instrument, basically an automobile headlight in a metal housing
proscenium arch
The arch which stands between stage and auditorium framing the stage
raked stage
A slanted stage, where upstage is slightly higher than downstage. Used to force perspective
scrim
a net or gauze curtain, drop, or set that appears opaque when lighted from the front but becomes transparent when lighted from behind
spike
to mark the stage floor with chalk or tape to indicate the position of furniture, properties, or scenery so that they will be placed correctly during scene shifts
thrust stage/open stage/apron stage
wraparound theatre space where the stage extends out into the audience and the spectators view the action from three sides. main advantage is that more of the audience can be closer to the actors. scenically, it can be less expensive to mount a theatre piece on a thrust stage than proscenium
trap
opening in the stage floor, normally covered, which can be sued for special effects, such as having scenery or performers rise from below, or which permits the construction of a staircase which ostensibly leads to a lower floor or cellar.
wagon
a rolling platform
wings
The offstage areas directly to the right and left of the performance space.
vomitorium
exits of the stage
fill
light that comes from all other secondary sources of the stage
beams
a group of lights that start behind or above the audience and shoot light to the back of the stage. First one is closest to the stage and second is the furthest away.
fly tower
A protrusion or tower that comes form the top of a theater which contains ____ rails that are tied to a counterweight system. Drops or scenery can be flown in or out of a stage in this tower.

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