• Theatre Vocabulary


    Test 1


    Proscenium Stage- A stage enclosed on three sides with a large decorative arch enclosing the opening to the audience.


    CTA- Children’s Theatre Association


    Showcase- A show which actors perform solely for the purpose of presenting themselves before others. 


    On the Walk-  A person selling tickets near the theatre but not near the box office.


    Tony- The award for best achievement in theatre.


    Premiere-  The first showing of a play.


    Producer- The financier of the show.


    Prompter- A person who gives lines.


    Reader’s Theatre- A show where scripts are read and very few sets and costumes are used.


    Reserved Seats-  Seats that have been assigned.





    Test 2


    Road Show-  A production that can be taken on  the road to other communities.


    Run Through-  A rehearsal that involves going through the entire play in sequence.


    Script-  A book in which the play is written.


    Soliloquy-  A long speech by one person to himself.


    Stage Business-  Working with props on the stage.


    Stage Fright-  A condition caused by being psychologically aware of the audience.


    Stage Presence-  Act of confidence of an actor.


    Sight Lines-  Good vision from any seat in the theatre.


    Star-  The person with the leading role.


    Standing Ovation-  When the audience stands in appreciation at the end of a show. 







    Test 3


    Melodrama-  A play with exaggerated movements and action.


    Batten-  Pipes hung over the stage from which to hang lights or scenery.


    Beat-  Any change in character or action. 


    Blocking-  The process of coordinating movement on the stage.


    Flat-  A 4’x10’ frame covered with muslin and used for scenery or building sets.


    Cheat-  A slight movement on stage that is unseen by the audience.  Generally it provides room for action.


    Costume-  What actors wear during a performance.


    Counter-  A slight movement by one actor that is coordinated with the movement of another actor.


    Cross-  The movement of an actor on stage, from one place to another.


    Cue-  The last sentence or word before an actor speaks. 




    Test 4


    Off- A term used to describe the area backstage.


    Cyclorama- A large, white surface at the rear of the stage.  Used to project light or images onto it.


    Objective-  The thing a character wants to achieve.


    Dimmer Board-  The instrument which controls the intensity of lights.


    Dress Rehearsal-  Final rehearsals of a play, including scenery, lighting, costuming, properties, and actors.


    Fly Space-  The open area above a stage that permits drops to be raised or lowered by batten.


    Greasepaint-  A type of stage makeup.


    Hot Spot-  The center of a light beam as it targets the stage.  The brightest part of the light beam. 


    Ground Plan-  A blueprint of the placement of scenery and props on the stage floor.


    One-act-  A play without intermission.  Generally 30 minutes to an hour in length.




    Test 5


    Thrust Stage-  A stage protruding somewhat into the audience.


    Hold for Laughs-  Dialog does not continue until audience laughter dies down.


    Community Theatre-  An amateur group organized to create theatre with local talent and enterprise.


    Walk Out- When a member of the audience leaves.


    Downstage-  The part of the stage closest to the audience.


    ATA-  American Theatre Association


    Strike-  To dismantle the set in an orderly manner.


    Long Run-  A play that is produced over a long period of time.  In community theatre, 3 weeks or more.


    Plot-  The series of events in a play.


    Cue Biter-  An actor who jumps in on his next line before the audience has a chance to laugh at a joke.






    Test 6


    Builds-  A scene in a play that constantly rises in excitement.


    Billboard Pass-  A ticket given to a person who gave space for advertisement in their business.


    Bad Reader-  One who is not at his best in a cold reading.


    Theatre-  Derives from the Greek word Theatron which means to view.


    Dance-  Poetry in motion.


    Good Theatre-  A quality which makes a play good in front of an audience.


    Property Man-  A person who gathers and looks after props.


    Comedy-  A funny play.


    Business-  The actor’s smaller actions on stage designed to illuminate his character, giving him something to do in the scene to make him believable. 


    Pit-  The lower level of the stage where the orchestra plays. 




    Test 7


    Places Please-  Move to assigned place for the beginning of a play or scene.


    Royalty-  Money paid to an author to be able to produce his work. 


    Oscar-  An award for best performance in cinema.


    Protagonist-  The leading character of audience interest.


    Involvement Drama-  A play in which the audience takes part in the action.


    Steal the Scene-  When an actor takes the lead in a scene with character or body.


    Studio Theatre-  An experimental production.


    Straight Theatre-  A production with no music.


    Summer Theatre-  A company that puts on shows during the summer.


    Sustain in Performance-  Acting without breaking character throughout the performance.





    Test 8


    Take Ten-  A ten minute break during rehearsal.


    Audition-  To read for a part in a play.


    Arena Theatre-  A stage where the audience surrounds the acting space.


    Topping the Line-  When an actor has to speak louder than another actor to be heard.


    Type Casting-  Casting a person in a play based on his personality or past experience.


    Upstaging-  Technique for getting the attention of the audience to you from another actor.


    Understudy-  A person who is studying the role of a character who is presently cast.


    Upstage-  The stage area farthest from the audience.


    Actor’s Equity Association-  The union of professional actors.


    Antagonist-  The character who plays a role against the lead of the play.




    Test 9


    Emmy-  The award for the best achievement in television. 


    SAG-  Screen Actor’s Guild


    Stock Company-  A resident company presenting a series of plays, each for a limited run.


    Properties-  Everything required during the action of the play which does not count as scenery. 


    Mask-  To cover from view of the audience with some kind of scenery or curtain.


    Pancake-  A type of stage makeup applied with sponge and water.


    Prop Table-  A table backstage where props are placed for actors to select just prior to entrance. 


    Scrim-  A thin, loosely woven piece of fabric which appears opaque when light is projected from the front.  When the frontal light is removed and the scene behind is lighted the scrim appears transparent and the audience can see through it. 


    Silhouette-  The actor is lighted from the back and not in front.


    Stage Door-  The main entrance to the backstage area.

    Test 10


    Teaser-  The first side curtains behind the act curtain.


    Trees-  Pipes, from which lights are hung.  Usually portable.


    Turntable-  A special stage that rotates.


    Vignette-  A short-short play or scene from a longer work.  Rarely more than five to ten minutes.


    Wagons-  Platforms on casters used for moving sets or scenery.


    SRO-  Standing room only crowd at a performance.


    Score-  A book containing the music for a play.


    Cold Reading-  Reading lines in a play that you have not read  before.


    Drama-  A serious play with a heavy plot.


    (From Lingo Bingo.  Brown Bag Productions.)


    Accent-  The manner in which people speak and the way words are pronounced in different parts of the world.




    Test 11


    Act-  Major division of a play.


    Acting-  An actor’s assumed behavior for the purpose of projecting a character to an audience.


    Acting areas-  Nine to fifteen divisions of the stage floor, used by directors when moving actors or placing furniture or scenery.


    Actor Viewpoint-  The way cast members react to the audience and the situation.


    Actors-  Males or females playing character roles.


    Adapting-  Changing or cutting a literary piece.


    Aesthetic Appreciation-  The ability to recognize, understand, and value that which is beautiful, pleasing, cultured, and tasteful in the arts.(theatre, music, visual art, and dance)


    Aesthetic Perception-  Insight into our world of images, sound, color, patterns, forms, and movements.


    Analyze-  To study carefully or examine critically.


    Animation-  Bringing something to life through movement and action.


    Test 12


    Antagonist-  The character opposing the protagonist.


    Apron-  The part of the stage extending past the proscenium arch toward the audience.


    Arena Stage-  A stage constructed so that the audience can sit on all sides; also known as “theatre-in–the-round.”


    Articulation-  The shaping and molding of sounds into syllables.


    Artistic Discipline-  Maintaining a balance between group cooperation and individual integrity.


    Assistant Director-  The person who helps the director with such duties as warming up the cast before rehearsal, checking role, posting rehearsal schedules, writing directorials notes during the rehearsal, running errands, and filling in as necessary when an actor is absent.


    Audience Commitment-  Audience responsibility.


    Audience Etiquette-  Appropriate audience behavior at a theatrical event.


    Audience Focus-  A type of focus in readers theatre in which the characters focus on the audience.


    Audience Viewpoint-  The way the audience sees and responds to the cast members.

    Test 13


    Auditions-  Tryouts for a production.


    Auguste Clown-  A rodeo or circus clown; a clown whose make-up is red instead of white. Makeup and costume usually consist of exaggerated designs and items such as a huge painted mouth, accented eyes, a huge bow tie, large shirt and pants, and large shoes.


    Authentic Evaluation-  An evaluation involving real-life situations and role-playing to test skills and abilities for the real world.


    Basic Makeup-  Cosmetics applied to the face or body using the actor’s natural features.


    Blackout-  Turning out all the stage lights at one time.


    Blocking-  Planning and working out the movements and stage grouping for a play.


    Blocking Rehearsals-  Rehearsals for planning stage movement and groupings.


    Body Positions-  The angle of the actor’s body onstage in relationship to the audience:  full front, full back, one-quarter, profile, three-quarter.


    Breaking Character-  Losing concentration or getting out of character.  Using dialogue or behavior inconsistent with the part you are creating.


    Breath Control-  The amount of force you use in inhaling and exhaling.


    Test 14


    Breathing-  The necessary process of inhaling and exhaling air to live. 


    Business-  Small movements and actions that do not require the actor to move from place to place. 


    Callbacks-  Additional opportunities for the actor to audition. 


    Camera shots-  Camera angles.


    Casting-  Selecting actors to play specific roles in a production.


    Character-  The personality an actor portrays in a scene or play that is different from his own personality. 


    Character Clown-  A type of clown who uses makeup and clothes to represent a specific person or image; for example, a tramp, hobo, Keystone Kop, and so on.


    Character Makeup-  Makeup used to change an actor’s natural features.


    Character Mask-  A mask representing a specific character. 


    Characterization-  Developing and portraying a personality through thought, action, dialogue, costuming, and makeup.


    Test 15


    Characterized-  Divided into characters for readers theatre.


    Choreography-  The art of planning and composing a dance.


    Climax-  Turning point in the action of a play.


    Clowning-  The art of entertaining others by providing laughter; requires the use of personal resources, an understanding of human nature, effective timing, and comedy techniques.


    Commedia dell’ Arte-  A form of improvisational theatre begun during the Renaissance, in the early 16th century.


    Community Theatre-  Not-for-profit theatre that uses local talent of all ages to produce plays.  The theatre may hire a professional staff but use volunteer actors and backstage workers. 


    Concentration-  The ability to focus and pay close attention.


    Conflict-  The problem or obstacles a literary character must overcome.  Often a struggle between opposing forces.


    Constructive Criticism-  Helpful comments and opinions that are expressed in a positive way.


    Cooperation-  The act of working together, getting along, and sharing responsibility. 

    Test 16


    Copyright-  The registration of ownership of a literary or musical work.


    Costume-  An outfit, including accessories and undergarments, worn by an actor in a production.


    Costume Crew-  The committee in charge of costuming the show.


    Costume Designer-  The person who designs or plans the costumes to be worn in a play or stage production.


    Costume Parade-  Actors modeling costumes under the appropriate stage lights.  This parade gives the director and costume designer the opportunity to evaluate the costumes and make any needed changes before the production opens.


    Costume Plot-  A chart listing all characters, the acts or scenes in which they appear, and all garments, undergarments, and accessories needed. 


    Creative Drama-  An improvisational, process centered form of theatre in which participants are guided by a leader to imagine, enact, and reflect on human experiences.


    Crew-  Committee of technicians who work behind the scenes creating the scenery, costumes, props, and so on.


    Criteria-  Evaluation guidelines to use in judging or grading an activity.


    Critique-  Opinions and comments based on predetermined criteria; used in an evaluation of a person or performance.


    Test 17


    Cue Sheet-  A chart or list for lighting or sound showing all the changes that will occur during a production. 


    Cues-  The dialogue, sounds, movement, or business signaling an actor or technician to respond as rehearsed.


    “Curtain”-  A verbal command starting or ending a scene.


    Curtain Call-  Following a performance, the appearance of the actors onstage to acknowledge their appreciation of the audience and to take a bow.


    Cutting-  Reducing or condensing material for oral interpretation.


    Cyclorama-  A large curtain covering the back and sides of the stage.


    Designer-  A person who creates or plans a specific part of the production, such as the costumes, lighting, set, makeup, or sound.


    Developing Rehearsals-  Rehearsals in which the actors work under the director’s guidance to prepare the show for performance; also called working rehearsals.


    Dialect-  A pronunciation of words from different languages blended together to form a distinct language for a group of people.  


    Dialogue-  The conversation between actors on the stage.

    Test 18


    Diaphragm-  The muscle located between the abdomen and the rib cage.


    Diction-  A person’s pronunciation of words, choice of words, and manner in which the person expresses himself or herself.


    Director-  Person in charge of the artistic production of a play.


    Double-cast-  Assign an actor to play two roles.


    Drama-  A story written to be played out on the stage.


    Dramatic Play-  Children’s creation of scenes when they play “pretend.”


    Dramatic Structure-  The special literary style in which plays are written.


    Dress Rehearsal-  A rehearsal conducted as if it were an actual performance.


    Emotions-  Strong feelings, such as joy, fear, hate, and happiness.


    Ensemble-  A group of people working together cooperatively.


    Test 19


    Evaluation-  An assessment of strengths and weaknesses.


    Exposition-  Detailed information revealing the facts of the plot.


    Expressive Movement-  The ability to express feelings through physical action.


    External Traits-  Traits relating to a character’s outwardly visible qualities.


    Feedback-  Constructive comments or opinions.


    Filmed-  Preserved on film as a moving photograph.


    First Person-  Indicates the speaker’s point of view as “I.”


    Flexibility-  The process of varying inflections of the voice.


    Flexible Staging-  Any stage not classified as proscenium, arena, or thrust.


    Flipping the Lid-  Improperly manipulating a movable mouth hand puppet, causing flapping of the upper jaw or head.





    Test 20


    Floor Plan-  A drawing of the stage setting as seen from above (bird’s- eye view).


    Focus-  In readers theatre, the place or people that the actors look at when they speak their lines.


    Folklore-  Tales, beliefs, customs, and traditions that were passed down orally from one generation to the another.


    Formal Drama-  Theatre that focuses on a performance in front of an audience as the important final product.


    “Freeze”-  A verbal command given by the director to stop the dialogue and movement in a scene.


    Full-body Puppet-  A puppet worn over the puppeteer’s head and body like a costume. 


    Grand Drape-  The draperies covering the proscenium opening (picture frame), separating the audience from the stage.


    Grotesque Whiteface-  A type of whiteface clown whose makeup has exaggerated features. 


    Group Process-  Two or more people taking a step-by-step course of action that takes place over a period of time and is aimed at achieving goals.


    Hand Puppet-  A puppet that fits over the puppeteer’s hand, much like a mitten, and is manipulated by the puppeteer’s fingers inside the puppet’s head and hands.


    Test 21


    House-  The section of the theatre where the audience sits; also called “out front.”


    House Crew-  The group responsible for printing tickets and programs and managing the box office, audience, and physical theatre during a production.


    Illusion-  Something that looks real but is false.


    Imagination-  The power to create ideas and pictures in our minds.


    Improvisation-  A spontaneous style of theatre using unrehearsed and unscripted acting scenes. 


    Improvisational-  Nonscripted and spontaneous.


    Improvise-  To ad-lib or invent dialogue and actions without a script or rehearsal.


    In Unison-  At the same time.


    Inflection-  The rising and falling of pitch.  Inflection adds meaning, color, and rhythm to spoken words. 


    Intermission-  A short break in the action of the play for the audience.



    Test 22


    Internal Traits-  Inner, personal qualities, invisible to the human eye.


    Interpersonal Relationships-  The contacts a person has with many different people.


    Interpret-  Act out a meaning of a selection and understand it in a unique way.


    Introduction-  Information that an interpreter gives to the audience at the beginning of the presentation to help the audience understand the selection. 


    Leader (or teacher) Playing in a Role-  A leader (or teacher) who actively participates in the creative drama process by playing one of the characters.


    Level-  The actual head height of the actor as determined by his or her body position (sitting, lying, standing, or elevated by an artificial means such as a step unit or platform).  Meaning is created in stage pictures by placing actors at different levels. 


    Light Crew-  The technicians responsible for planning, preparing, and running the stage lights for a production.


    Lighting Designer-  The person who plans and puts into effect the lighting for a play or stage production.


    Lighting Plot-  A floor plan of the set showing the placement of basic lighting and any special lighting.  This plot should also include a list of what lights are turned on and off and where the switches are located.  These cues are marked in the light technician’s promptbook for use in production. 


    Line Check-  A test run of the show’s dialogue to ensure that all lines have been memorized; also called a line rehearsal.


























    Test 23

    Lip Sync-  Synchronizing movement of a puppet’s mouth with the spoken words.


    Literary Merit-  That quality of a story that gives readers and actors a deeper understanding about the human condition and human spirit just through experiencing the story.  Usually, the story’s protagonist must face and triumph over internal and external obstacles.


    Makeup Crew-  The crew in charge of designing and applying makeup for each character.


    Makeup Designer-  The person who plans and designs the makeup to be worn in a play or stage production.  Sometimes this person is also the makeup artist, the person who applies the makeup to the performers.


    Makeup Plot-  A chart listing the makeup needs for each character in a play.


    Manipulation-  The way a puppeteer moves or works a puppet.


    Mannerisms-  Unconscious habits or peculiarities.


    Marionette-  A puppet manipulated by strings connecting a control rod or paddle to the moving body parts.


    Mask-  A covering worn over all or part of the actor’s face to neutralize or create a new character. 


    Masking-  Any materials such as curtains or scenery used to block an audience’s view of the backstage area. 


    Test 24


    Mass Media-  Communication that can reach large audiences.


    Melodrama-  An exaggerated, fast-moving play in which action is more important than characterization.  The “good guys” win and the “bad guys” are punished.


    Mime-  The silent art of using body movements to create an illusion of reality.


    Mimesis-  To imitate an activity.


    Monologue-  A long speech spoken by one person, revealing personal thoughts and feelings.


    Motivation-  An inner drive that causes a person to act a certain way.


    Mounting the Show-  Adding the finishing touches- such as scenery, props, and costumes- to a theatrical production.


    Movable-Mouth Puppet-  A hand puppet with a movable mouth.


    Movement-  The ability to transform ideas into action.


    Narrative Bridge-  Description of characters, actions, and settings, provided by one or more narrators. 


    Test 25


    Narrative Pantomime-  A creative drama activity in which a leader reads a piece of literature while the entire class plays the action in unison without words.


    Narrator-  A storyteller.


    Neat Whiteface-  A type of whiteface clown whose makeup is in proportion and looks normal in size.


    Neutral Mask-  A white, featureless facial covering worn to neutralize the actor’s own face. 


    Observation-  The power of seeing and taking notice.


    Offstage Focus-  A type of focus in readers theatre in which the characters look above the heads of the audience, into an imaginary mirror, focusing on the reflected image of the person to whom they are speaking.


    Onstage Focus-  A type of focus in readers theatre in which the characters focus on each other, as in traditional theatre.


    Oral Interpretation-  The skill of reading aloud to convey an author’s message to an audience.


    Oscilloscope-  An instrument that can be used to record voice vibrations and show voice patterns.


    Pantomime-  The use of mime techniques, acting without words, to tell a story.

    Test 26


    Pantomimus-  All gestures used in support of a theme.


    Paraphrase-  Put a story into your own words.


    Performance Evaluation-  An evaluation of a performance given before an audience.


    Performance Space-  An area set aside for a performance.


    Personal Resources-  Techniques and skills that we use to express ourselves emotionally, intellectually, socially, and physically.


    Phrasing-  Grouping words to create a specific meaning.


    Pitch-  The musical tone of a voice.


    Planes-  Imaginary divisions giving depth to the proscenium stage.  An actor moves through the stage planes as he or she moves down stage toward the audience or upstage away from the audience. 


    Play-  Story in dialogue formed to be acted out by actors before a live audience.


    Player-Audience Relationship-  The special interactive and “live” relationship that exists between the performers and the audience, connecting and bonding them into a team.


    Test 27


    Playwright-  One who writes play.


    Plot-  The arrangement of the incidents that take place in a play.


    Poetry-  Literature written in verse form, often in rhythmic patterns and in rhyme.


    Point of View-  A position from which we perceive (understand) an object, person, or place.


    Poise-  The effective control of all voice elements and body movements.


    Polishing Rehearsals-  Rehearsals used to correct problems that occur in the run through.  The rehearsals give the actors the opportunities to fine-tune character believability, vocal projection, and “picking up cues.”


    Posture-  How we sit and stand.


    Producer-  The person responsible for the entire production, including obtaining financial backing, paying the bills, and hiring the director and creative staff.


    Production Techniques-  The methods used to stage a play and the methods used to produce television programs and films.


    Program-  Printed sheet of paper or booklet that provides information about the production.

    Test 28


    Projection-  The placement and delivery of voice elements used effectively in communicating to an audience.


    Promptbook-  Usually a loose-leaf notebook containing the script marked with all stage movement, entrances and exits, technical cues, and special instructions for the production.  The stage manager is usually in charge of the promptbook.


    Pronunciation-  The way sounds or syllables that represent a word are said and stressed according to the proper notation found in the dictionary.


    Prop Crew-  The crew in charge of stage properties (props).


    Property Master-  The person in charge of the stage properties, or props, for a production.


    Props-  a. Stage properties or items that might be part of the stage decorations.  b. Items used by the actors for stage business and characterization.


    Proscenium Stage-  A four-sided stage built like a box with one side cut away, enabling the audience to view the play as if it were in a picture frame.


    Prose-  A composition written without patterns of rhyme or rhythm. 


    Protagonist-  The major character in a story.


    Publicity Crew-  The committee responsible for organizing and implementing all advertising  for a production.  Often in charge of ticket sales, this crew is sometimes combined with the house crew.

    Test 29


    Puppet-  Almost anything brought to life by a human in front of an audience.


    Quality-  The voice element that makes one person sound different from everyone else. 


    Radio Theatre-  The performance of a play or story on radio by readers using a script that is not memorized.  This type of theatre is either broadcast live or taped for later use.


    Rate-  The speed at which someone speaks.


    Readers Theatre-  A style of theatre in which two or more interpreters appear to be reading from a script.


    Reading Rehearsals-  Rehearsals for the purpose of reading and analyzing the script as well as discussing and understanding characterization.


    Rehearsals-  Production sessions in which the actors and technicians prepare by repetition.


    Relaxation-  Freedom from all bodily tensions.


    Replaying-  Acting out again.


    Respect-  Consideration for and acceptance of ourselves and others, including other people’s property, backgrounds, and opinions.

    Test 30


    Rhythmic Movement-  The ability to move to a beat or pattern of beats.


    Risks-  Actions that are different from the norm.


    Ritual-  Repeated action that becomes a custom or ceremony.


    Rod Puppet-  A puppet constructed without shoulders, arms, or legs and manipulated by one or more rods.


    Role-Playing-  Trying on the role of others, or assuming the part of another person in society.


    Royalty-  A fee required to produce a play or musical.


    Run-Throughs-  Rehearsals conducted without any stops.


    Scene-  a. A short situation to be acted out, as in improvisation, with a beginning, middle, and end.  b. A subdivision of an act in a play.


    Scenery-  Curtains, backdrops, or any structures constructed to transform an empty stage into a suitable background for a play.


    Screenplay-  The script written for a movie or television show.


    Test 31


    Screenwriter-  A writer who writes television or movie scripts.


    Script-  A written copy of the dialogue that the actors will speak.


    Self-Confidence-  Belief in your worth and abilities as a person.


    Self-Image-  The way we see ourselves.


    Self-Talk-  Mental comments and opinions we repeat to ourselves constantly.


    Sensory Awareness-  The ability to use sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste to become conscious of the environment.


    Set-  Usually large items used to stage a scene or play.


    Set Designer-  The person who designs the set for a production.


    Set Pieces-  Large portable pieces of the stage setting.


    Shadow Play-  Projecting shadow images on a screen.





    Test 31


    Shadow Puppet-  A flat, one-dimensional puppet designed to cast a shadow or form a silhouette on a white screen.


    Side-Coaching-  A method by which the leader talks you through an activity by making suggestions or giving you ideas.


    Sight Lines-  Imaginary lines defining the areas of the stage where the actors can clearly be seen by the audience.


    Soliloquy-  A monologue usually delivered while the character is alone onstage, thinking aloud.


    Sound-  Artificially produced sound effects or music as well as the amplification of voices so that they can be heard.


    Sound Crew-  The group responsible for planning and preparing all sound effects needed for a production.


    Sound Designer-  The person who plans and puts into effect the sound for a production.


    Sound Plot-  The plan of all the sound effects and music needed for a production.


    Spectacle-  All visual elements of production, such as scenery, properties, lighting, costumes, makeup, stage movement, and dance.


    Spectacle Viewing-  A medium through which film is viewed with wonder and amazement.


    Test 33


    Stage-  The area where the players perform; usually a raised platform.


    Stage Crew-  The group of technicians responsible for building the scenery.  During a production, this crew is in charge of any scene changes.


    Stage Directions-  Information provided by the playwright to give the actors instructions on how to feel or what to do when certain lines are spoken.  These directions, usually in italics, are set apart from the dialogue by parenthesis. 


    Stage Lighting-  Illumination of the actors and acting area; including any special lighting effects.


    Stage Makeup-  Any cosmetic effect, including hair, that enhances or changes an actor’s appearance.


    Stage Manager-  The person in charge of supervising backstage.


    Stage Picture-  An appealing and meaningful arrangement of performers on the stage; the picture that the audience sees on stage.


    Stereotypical Character-  A familiar character identified by an oversimplified pattern of behavior that typically labels the character as being part of a group of people.


    Stock Character-  An easily recognizable character.  A flat, one-dimensional character with predictable actions.


    Story-  The narration of an event or series of events brought to life for listeners by a storyteller.

    Test 34


    Story Dramatization-  A playing/acting process to interpret and share a story by using improvisation rather than scripts.


    Storyteller-  A person who tells stories with an audience.


    Storytelling-  The art of sharing stories with an audience.


    Strike-  Take apart  the stage setting, remove it from the stage, and store all parts of the production for future use.


    Subtext-  The underlying meaning or interpretation of a line, which is not indicated in the script but is supplied by the actor.


    Suspended Belief-  Pretend that what is happening onstage is real.


    Technical rehearsals-  Rehearsals emphasizing the performance of the production’s technical elements- prop changes, scenery shifts, light changes, sound effects, and so on.


    Theatre-  The writing or performing of plays, as well as the formal study of the art form.  Also, a building in which plays are performed.


    Theatre Arts-  The term used to cover all parts of training or instruction in the field of theatre.


    Theatre Conventions-  Established techniques, practices, or devices unique to theatrical productions.

    Test 35


    Theatre Safety-  Keeping the crews, cast, and audience free from harm, danger, risk, or injury.


    Theatre Teacher-  An educator who specializes in theatre arts or drama.


    Theme-  The basic idea or purpose of the play.  It ties together all the characters and events.


    Thrust Stage-  A stage that extends into the seating area.  The audience sits on three sides of the stage.


    Tragedy-  A play that deals with a serious situation in a serious way.  The protagonist dies or is defeated at the end of the play.


    Transition-  Description of what is happening while the actors pantomime the action of a story.


    Trust-  The ability to risk expressing yourself in front of your classmates without fear of being ridiculed.


    Understudy-  A person who learns a part in order to substitute in a performance should the original actor not be able to appear in the show.


    Vista Shots-  Faraway shots.


    Visualizing-  The act of imagining and seeing pictures in the mind.



    Test 37



    Vocal Folds-  Muscular membranes in the larynx that produce sound.


    Volume-  How softly or loudly a person speaks.


    Whiteface Clown-  A clown whose makeup is an all-white face with features of black and red added for detail.


    Wings-  Offstage spaces to the sides of the acting areas.


    (From Exploring Theatre.  Nancy Prince and Jeanie Jackson.  West Publishing Co., 1997.)

Last Modified on August 20, 2018