Theatre Terms: Week #1

Dramatics - Mr. Dawursk

 

Above

The “upstage” position of the acting area.

Ad-Lib

To extemporize or improvise dialogue or movement.

Antagonist

The main character in a story or play who is in conflict with the protagonist.

Apron

The stage floor area between the audience or foot lights and the curtain.

Arena Stage

Staging in the center of the theatre with the audience surrounding the playing area; also called “theatre in the round.”

Aside

When the actor speaks to the audience rather then to other actors in the play and they can not hear the words to the audience.

Baby Spot

A small (less than 400 watts) plano-convex spotlight fixture.

Backdrop

The one dimensional painted curtain hanging from the battens at the back of the play area; also called “drop.”

Backing

The flats, borders or curtains used behind window or door opening to hide (mask) the audience’s view of the back stage.

Backstage

The area behind the scenery that is not seen by the audience.

Base

The initial or “foundation” color stage makeup used prior to accenting the character’s features.

Batten

The horizontal pipe or metal girding hung over the stage from which curtains, borders, set pieces, scenery and lights can be hung.

Below

The “downstage” position of the acting area.

Blackout

When all the lights on stage (and usually in the entire “house”) go off at the same time.

Blocking

The director’s pre-planned movements and gestures for the characters in the production.

Borders

The short curtains which hang in front of the lights above stage or on the side to hide the lights from the audience’s view.

Border Lights

Strips of stage lights above and/or on the side of the acting area used for blending, shadow correction, toning and setting the mood in the production.

Build

The increasing of vocal and action intensity intent on highlighting a climactic section of the production.

Business

The opposite of “broad stage movement;” concentrates on the “details” and minute activities of the on-stage characters.

Cable

An thick electric cord or special cable usually 12 or more gauge used for stage lighting and effects.

Call

The posted announcement of an audition or rehearsals for a production; usually tacked to the “call board” near the back theatre entrance.

Cheat

To play at or toward the audience (usually to get a laugh) while seeming to maintain a conversation or action with other characters on stage.

Clear Stage

A verbal call usually made by the stage manager to vacate the acting area as the curtain is about to open or the stage lights are about to go on.

Climax

The highest action in a story which usually addresses the inciting moment or main conflict in the plot.