Theatre Terms

Flashcard maker : Lily Taylor
Travelers
Transverse curtains drawn from both sides of the stage, upstage of the Grand Drape; used to mask an upstage segment of the stage
Teasers
Short, horizontal draperies hung across the stage above the acting area to mask the overhead lights and the flies from the audience
Scrim
A drop, which is made from translucent or transparent material
Legs
Narrow, vertical stage drapes used to mask the sides of the stage, upstage of the proscenium.
Flat
Pieces of canvas stetched over wooden frames that are painted and linked together to create scenery such as walls and doorways
Set piece
A three-dimensional scenery piece that stands by itself, such as an arch, a stair, a fountain, a rock, a hedge or tree
Props or Properties
All practical parts of the design that are not structurally a part of the setting
Set Props
Includes the furniture and fixtures normally used by actors
Decorative Props
Used to help the designer establish the period, nationaly, or locale of the setting
Hand Props
Objects carried to and from the state by the actors or used by them while on stage
Pantomime
The art of acting without words, by using facial expressions, gestures, and expressive movements of the body or limbs to communicate
Mime
An offspring of pantomime that often conveys abstract ideas
Improvisation
THe impromptu portrayal of a character or scene; without a script
Terminal Questions
Can be answered by a “yes” or a “no”
Character-centered Approach
An approach to telling a story that focuses on a charater or group of characters who experience different situations
Situation-centered Approach
Story telling approach built around an event; takes a single situation or series of situations (TV sitcoms)
Sit-com
Situational comedy
Motivated Sequence
The natural way in which a person responds to an external stimulus–1) experiences the stimulus, 2) the brain registers 3)the body responds 4) reacts with the main response–as mirrored by an actor in improv
Presentational Style
Theatrical style in which the actors acknowledge the presence of the audience
Representational Style
Theatrical style in which the actors do not acknowledge the presence of the audience, but try to duplicate life
Fourth Wall
An imaginary wall between the audience and the actors in a representational play
Cue Line
Final line that signals an actor to begin the next speech
On book
Rehearsing with a script
Off book
Rehearsing with a script after lines are memorized
Cross
To move from one position to another on stage
Open Up
Turn, move toward the audience
Cheat-Out
Stage technique where an actors pivots the torso and turns the face toward the audience
Aside
Stage technique where an actor speaks to the audience rather than to the other characters who supposedly do not hear the speech
Share a Scene
Two actors standing or sitting parallel to each other in a dialogue
Gesture
A movement of any part of the body to help express an idea; to emphasize or clarify a thought or feeling
Projection
Controlling the voice’s volume and quality so that it can be heard clearly
Characterization
Putting together all facets of a character to make that character a living, convincing human being
Character Sketch
A brief bio of a character in a play, including all the info provided by the script
Body language
Nonverbal communication using the body, by means of gestures, expressions of shifting of physical attitude, intended to suggest associated ideas or feelings
Master Gesture
A distinctive action that serves as a clue to a character’s personality
Leading Center
A part of the body with which a character begins movement usually determined by the major personality trait
Critique
A positive or negative evaluation provided in response to a performance
Set
The scenery used on stage
Inclination
The bending of the body to the front, the side, or the rear
Rotation
Turning or pivoting a body part in smooth circles
Isolation
The process of separating parts of the body for individual development and expression
Convention
A special or traditional way of doing something; abstractions that communicate symbolic or literal meanings
Palms Up
A gesture that is receiving; pleading; giving
Palms Down
A gesture that implies a negative thought; a denial
Clenched Fists
A gesture that shows strength or emphasis; represents anger
Pointed finger or Extended Arm
A gesture that indicates direction, a command or idea
Non-verbal
A term that means “without words”
Opposite action
Emphasizes an action, making it appear bigger
Theatre
A place or building used for the presentation of plays
Drama
From a Greek word meaning “to do” or “to act”
Humanities
The areas of human interest that deal with arts and literature
Empathy
Emotional identification with someone or something outside of oneself
Legitimate Theatre
Live professional theatre, as distinguished from other media forms
Critique
An oral or written evaluation of a performance
Stage
Where the actors perform
“On the Boards”
An expression for performing on stage
“Illusion of the First Time”
Performing with freshness as if things have not been rehearsed
Scenario
A skeletal outline of stage action in the order of its development indicating scenes and characters
Plot
The series of related events that take place in a play presenting the main story
Exposition
The information given to the audience that provides where, when, why, and who facts of the story
Conflict
A struggle between two opposing forces; drama’s most important ingredient
Stagecraft
The art and craft of putting on a production
Comedy
A play that deals with treating characters and situations in a humourous way
Tragedy
A play in which the protagonist fails to achieve his or her desired goals or is overcome by opposing forces
Royalty
The fee charged for the rights to present a play
Audition
A tryout for a production role
Monologue
A form of dramatic speech from a play by a single speaker
Call
The posted notice of rehearsals and auditions
Resume
A personal profile required for professional auditions
Portfolio
A collection of photos, reviews, and other experience info presented when seeking employment
Open Audition
Anyone in the student body is eligible to try out
Closed Audition
Restrictions are placed on which actors/students may try out
Prepared Audition
The actor brings in material that has been thoroughly worked out, including memorization and action
Cold Reading
An audition where the actor is given material never seen before and is expected to read the unfamiliar material well
Improvisational Audition
The actor is assigned a character and situation and must improvise a scene
Callbacks
Second or third auditions held for the final selection of candidates who might work together in physical appearance, voice, and personality
Reading Rehearsal
A rehearsal at which the play is read by the director or by members of the cast
Blocking Rehearsal
A rehearsal at which the movement and groupings on the stage are practiced
Working rehearsal
A rehearsal at which interpretation of the play is developed and words and actions are put together
Stage Business
A movement or gesture, especially a minor one, used by an actor to give atmoshere to a scene or help portray a character
Technical Rehearsal
A rehearsal at which lighting, scenery, and props are used to insure that technical changes go smoothly
Dress Rehearsal
The last, uninterrupted rehearsals when costumes, props, and scenery are used; the final rehearsal before performance
Curtain Call
The taking of bows with the full cast at the end of the show
Etiquette
Proper behavior required by the social situation
Angel
A financial backer
Program
A pamphlet that contains info about the show
Producer
The person who finds the final investors to put on the play, hires director, sets budget, and pays the bill
Director
The person in charge of the play’s rehearsals; molds all parts of the production
Business Manager
The person responsible for the financial arrangements of the production, budgeting, paying all bills, handling tickets, etc
Publicity Manager
The person who handles the advertising and promotion of a play in the press and media; promotes in the school and community; helps with flyers and promotions
House Manager
The person responsible for distribution of programs, seating, and comfort of the audience
Scenic Designer
A person responsible for designing settings, and sometimes, costumes
Technical Director
A person who executes the designs of the scenic designer with help of crew; in charge of set, scenery, making props, and hanging lights
Lighting Designer
The person responsible for designing the light effects of the play and planning their position and focus
Sound Designer
The person responsible for designing the light effects for the play and planning the position of speakers
Costume Designer
The person who designs costumes and accessories to build or chooses to rent, barrow, or buy
Wardrobe Manager
Keeps costume plots and sees that every costume is complete, in good repair, and returned
Makeup Artist
Responsible for the application of facial/body cosmetics and accessories
Stage Manager
The person who, aided by stage crews, takes charge of backstage during performance; keeps the promptbook
Properties Master
The person who, under the guide of the Technical Director, is in charge of the prop crew and getting furniture, set props, storing them, prop table, and hand props
Stage Crew
The group of people working on set construction, props, lighting, sound, costumes, and makeup
Grip
A stage hand who moves scenery and furniture
Prompter
A person who is offstage and follows a play in progress from the script, repeating missed cues and supplying actors with forgotten lines

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