A way of speaking used in a local area or country
That area within the performance space within which the actor may move in full view of the audience.
Also known as the playing area
A particular manner of acting which reflects cultural and historical influences
The movement or development of the plot or story in a play; the sense of forward movement created by the sense of time and/or the physical and psychological motivations of characters
The area between the front curtain and the edge of the stage
In responding to dramatic art, the process of examining how the elements of drama – literary, technical, and performance – are used
The opponent or adversary of the hero or main character of a drama; one who opposes and actively competes with another character in a play, most often with the protagonist
Type of stage without a frame or arch separating the stage from the auditorium, in which the audience surrounds the stage area
The clarity or distinction of speech
Lines spoken by an actor to the audience and not supposed to be overheard by other characters on stage
People watching the drama
Being aware as an actor of where your audience is during the performance to ensure you act towards them
The area for the audience, usually filled with seats
A method of projecting images onto a translucent screen from behind.
Often used for projected scenery or special effects.
Because the projector is usually close to the screen, special lenses are needed to ensure that the image seen by the audience is large enough.
A flat surface the width of the stage, hung upstage of the acting area, upon which scenery is usually painted
Light coming from upstage, behind scenery or actors, to sculpt and separate them from the background
Non-acting area behind the stage
Keeping an even distribution of weight
Messages given by the position or movement of the body
A rotatable attachment consisting of two or four metal flaps (hinged) which is fixed to the front of a Fresnel spotlight to cut off the beam in a particular direction(s)
A lighting cue where all stage lights go off simultaneously
Slow Fade to: the lighting/sound is faded out slowly.
Fast Fade to: the lighting/sound is faded out quickly.
Snap to: blackout is achieved instantly.
The path formed by the actor’s movement on stage, usually determined by the director with assistance from the actor, and often written down in a script using commonly accepted theatrical symbols
A set with three walls and a ceiling, leaving the fourth wall to be imagined by the actors.
The box set represents a real room with doors and windows that work.
A theory advocated by Aristotle in his Poetics which attempts to describe the feeling of release felt by the audience at the end of a tragedy; the audience experiences catharsis, or is set free from the emotional hold of the action, after experiencing strong emotions and sharing in the protagonist’s troubles
(CS) – The centre area of the stage
CENTRE STAGE LEFT
(CSL) – The left hand centre side of the acting area as the actor faces the audience
CENTRE STAGE RIGHT
(CSR) – The right hand centre side of the acting area as the actor faces the audience
A person portrayed in a drama, novel, or other artistic piece
How an actor uses body, voice, and thought to develop and portray a character
The movement of actors and dancers to music in a play
A group of performers who sing, dance, or recite in unison.
In Greek drama, the chorus was the group of performers who sang and danced between episodes, narrated off-stage action, and commented on events.
Clearness of the voice
The point of greatest intensity in a series or progression of events in a play, often forming the turning point of the plot and leading to some kind of resolution
A piece of scenic canvas, painted or plain that is flown or fixed to hang in a vertical position
(or backdrop) hangs at the rear of a scene
A painted canvas sheet placed on the stage floor to mark out the acting area, or to achieve a particular effect
A play that treats characters and situations in a humorous way.
In Shakespeare’s time, a comedy was any play with a happy ending that typically told the story of a likeable character’s rise to fortune. In ancient Greece, comedies dealt almost exclusively with contemporary figures and problems.
Low comedy is physical rather than intellectual comedy; high comedy is more sophisticated, emphasizing verbal wit more than physical action.
The actor’s focus, also called centering; focusing on the work at hand, being in character, or being in the moment
The internal or external struggle between opposing forces, ideas, or interests that creates dramatic tension
Dynamic use of opposites, such as movement/stillness, sound/silence, and light/darkness
Different techniques that are used in presenting the drama (flashback, flashforward, sill image, mime, monologue, movement, slow motion, narration, voice over, aside soliloquy, tableau)
Clothes worn by actors for their character
The process of developing a drama’s content and roles through practical exploration, experimentation and problem solving
Bringing another lighting state up to completely replace the current lighting state. Also applies to sound effects/music. Sometimes abbreviated to Xfade or XF.
A signal from an actor to do or say something, or for a lighting or sound effect to begin or end
oNE CUE LINKS SMOOTHLY WITH THE OTHER
A fabric drop hung from a curved or segmented batten, or a curved wall at the back of the stage, upon which light can be cast to create effects (cyc for short)
Progression of the plot or conflict in a play
Spoken conversation used by two or more characters to express thoughts, feelings, and actions
A documentary style drama, including reconstructions of events
Final rehearsal of a drama with all the theatre arts
The energetic range of, or variations within physical movement or the difference between levels of sound
The stress on a word or phrase
To come on stage
Traditional audience seating layout where the audience is looking at the stage from the same direction.
This seating layout is that of a proscenium arch theatre.
The dynamic interaction and harmonious blending of the efforts of the many artists involved in the dramatic activity of theatrical production
To judge the strengths and weaknesses of a drama
To leave the acting area
The part of a play that introduces the theme, chief characters, and current circumstances
Look on face which shows emotions
Acting out of a future or imagined event
An extreme form of comedy that depends on quick tempo and flawless timing and is characterised by improbable events and farfetched coincidences; from the French meaning ‘to stuff’
In a non-linear plot, to go back in time to an event in the past
A wooden frame, usually covered with painted cloth, used to create walls or separations on stage.
Can be joined together with other flats.
Natural, flowing speech
FLOOD / FLOOD LANTERN
To wash the stage with general lighting.
The name given to a basic box-shaped lantern with a simple reflector used to achieve this effect.
In lighting, the adjustment of the size and shape of a stage light and/or the direction in which it is aimed.
In acting, the act of concentrating/staying in character or key moment, character, relationship or event in a drama.
Powerful profile used to follow actors around the acting area
The overall style of the drama
The invisible wall of a set through which the audience sees the action of the play
Adjustable spotlight giving a diffused light, created by the construction of its lens of ‘concentric circles’ (used with Barn doors)
FRONT OF HOUSE
Any job in the theatre which involves dealing with the audience (box office, refreshments, usher)
See-through material which cannot be seen through when lit from the front, but can be seen through when lit from behind
Clamp used to secure lantern to lighting bar or stand
Film placed in front of a lantern to change the colour of the beam
A category of literary or dramatic composition; drama is a literary genre. Drama is further divided into tragedy, comedy, farce, and melodrama, and these genres, in turn, can be subdivided
Any movement of the actor’s head, shoulder, arm, hand, leg, or foot to convey meaning
Thin metal place cut out in a pattern and placed in a lantern to project pattern or shape onto the acting space
A bird’s eye view of the set, showing furniture, entrances/exits and the position of the audience
Compartmentalised floodlights set up on the stage floor so as to allow colour mixing.
Commonly used to light curtains and for colour washes.
Properties such as tools, weapons, or luggage that are carried on stage by an individual actor
Questioning a character in role
The lights that illuminate the auditorium before and after the performance and during intermission
Rising and falling of voice in speech
A technique which allows performers to slow down and focus individually on an issue.
The performers, sitting quietly with eyes closed, allow pictures to form in their minds.
These images may be motivated by bits of narration, music, sounds, smells, etc.
The spontaneous use of movement and speech to create a character or object in a particular situation; acting done without a script
Change in pitch or loudness of the voice
The action or relationship among two or more characters
An implied discrepancy between what is said and what is meant. There are several forms of irony
When the audience perceives something that a character does not know
This can be described as a discrepancy between expected results and the actual results
Control of isolated body parts; the ability to control or move one part of the body independently of the rest
Explanation of symbols on a ground plan
In drama, the particular manner of verbal expression, the diction or style of writing, or the speech or phrasing that suggests a class or profession or type of character
The generic term for a stage spotlight
A peculiarity of speech or behavior
Physical levels of actors on the stage help to indicate status.
One character may be on a higher piece of staging or platform, or it may simply be that one character is standing and another is sitting.
It is usually easier to play the dominant, more powerful character if you are on a higher level.
A term used to describe a situation where no physical set is used on stage.
The ‘set’ is created entirely by means of lighting.
Worn by actors for their character, but also essential under stage lighting
One actor unintentionally preventing another from being seen by the audience
Covering for all, or part, of the face. Greatly used in Greek theatre, worn by the Chorus
A style of play, which originated in the 19th century, relying heavily on sensationalism and sentimentality.
Melodramas tend to feature action more than motivation, stock characters, and a strict view of morality in which good triumphs over evil.
Acting without words, stylised form of movement which creates an illusion of reality
Copying the movement and/or expression or look of someone else exactly
A long speech made by one actor; a monologue may be delivered alone or in the presence of others
The tone or feeling of the play, often engendered by the music, setting, or lighting
Drama which includes song and/or music
The reason or reasons for a character’s behaviour; an incentive or inducement for further action for a character
Stage blocking or the movements of the actors onstage during performance; also refers to the action of the play as it moves from event to event
Part(s) of the drama are told as a story by a narrator
A style of drama that developed in the late 19th century as an attempt to represent real life on stage faithfully and without artifice; the actions of characters tend to be dominated by determinism (societal or environmental forces)
Rate of movement or speed of action
Christmas theatrical entertainment usually based on a fairy tale
A break in speaking, period of silence
Presenting of a drama to an audience
Includes acting (e.g. character motivation and analysis, empathy), speaking (breath control, vocal expression and inflection, projection, speaking style, diction), and non-verbal expression (gestures, body alignment, facial expression, character blocking, movement)
Small props that are usually carried in an actor’s costume, such as money or a pen
The particular level (high or low) of a voice, instrument or tune
Another word for a drama
Person who has written a play (the author)
The events of a play or arrangement of action, as opposed to the theme
The organisation or building of the action in a play
Physical alignment of a performer’s body, or a physical stance taken by a performer which conveys information about the character being played
The results of the Creating process, including performance and evaluation
A focusable spotlight having an ellipsoidal lens which enables a sharp-edged beam of light to be projected
Audience follows the action on foot, moving from one location to another
To give actors their lines as a reminder; the prompter is the one who assists actors in remembering their lines
Master copy of the script with all moves and technical effects included
Left hand side of the stage where prompter and stage manager sit during performance
Short for properties; any article, except costume or scenery, used as part of a dramatic production; any moveable object that appears on stage during a performance
A frame or arch separating the stage from the auditorium.
The proscenium opening was of particular importance to the Realistic playwrights of the 19th century, such as Ibsen and Shaw, for whom it was a picture frame or an imaginary fourth wall through which the audience experienced the illusion of spying on characters.
The main character or hero in a play or other literary work
Contemporary term for ‘spatial relationships’ referring to spatial signifiers of the relationship between different performers or a performer and elements of the set which convey information about character and circumstances
A mocking or satirical imitation of a literary or dramatic work
Slope of stage (to allow actors to be seen)
Remember, the audience is always watching you so it is important to react to what is panning on stage by reacting to what the other characters are saying and doing.
This can be achieved by use of body language and facial expressions.
Measured flow of words or phrases in verse forming patterns of sound. Regularity in time or space of an action, process or feature
A stage which turns in a circle
An attempt in theatre to represent everyday life and people as they are or appear to be through careful attention to detail in character motivation, costume, setting, and dialogue.
Practice or preparation of a drama
Drama devised/created without a script which is rehearsed improvisation before presentation
How the problem or conflict in a drama is solved or concluded
A prescribed form or ceremony; drama grew out of religious ritual
The character portrayed by an actor in a drama
ROLE ON THE WALL
A technique used to help you, and others actors, very quickly gain an impression of who your character is and how they feel.
Draw an outline of a person with facts about them on the outside of the body and their emotions on the inside, and then stick it on the wall next to other characters.
Improvising movement and dialogue to put oneself in another’s place in a particular situation, often to examine the person(s) and/or situation(s) being improvised
Blocks or platforms used to create levels
Used to attach a lantern to the lighting bar for safety (incase the G-Clamp fails)
A play in which sarcasm, irony, and ridicule are used to expose or attack folly or pretension in society
Outline of the plot of a drama, including changes in time or place
A small section or portion of a play, set in one place at one time
The theatrical equipment, such as curtains, flats, backdrops, or platforms, used in a dramatic production to communicate environment
The written words of a drama
The physical surroundings, visible to the audience, in which the action of the play takes place
The person who designs the physical surroundings in which the action of the play takes place
An item placed on the set, usually part of it (lamp, clock, picture)
When and where the action of a play takes place
Imaginary lines of sight that determine what areas of the stage are visible to the audience from any given seat in the house
Movements performed at a slowed down speed to heighten dramatic impact
A speech in which an actor, usually alone on stage, speaks the inner thoughts of his/her character aloud
The effects an audience hears during a performance to communicate character, context, or environment
A defined area
Recorded: often abbreviated to FX. There are many sources for recorded sound effects, from compact discs, to downloading from the internet. May form an obvious part of the action (train arriving at station) or may be in the background throughout a scene (e.g. birds
Live: gunshots, door slams, and offstage voices (amongst many others) are most effective when done live.
Music, sound effects, actors’ voices
Importance relative to others
Traditional term for what is currently referred to as proxemics, referring to spatial signifiers of the relationship between different performers or a performer and elements of the set which convey information about character and circumstances
Visual or sound effects used to enhance a theatrical performance
Drama created ‘on the spot’ without a script or plan improvisation
Beam of light created by a lantern for a person or place on the acting area
Written or spoken advice on how to act a drama
The level of comfort, commitment, and energy an actor appears to have on stage
The plot or plan of action
A loud whisper intended to be heard by the audience
Another term for blocking; deliberate choices about where the actors stand and how they move on stage to communicate character relationships and plot and to create interesting stage pictures, relative to the audience
To remove all the set from the acting area
Attitude or position of the body.
The way you hold your posture on stage will portray you character’s age, personality and mood.
Your character’s stance may change according to what situation they are in.
An exaggerated portrayal of a type of person
Anything which suggest ideas which can be developed into drama
Characters who represent particular personality types or characteristics of human behaviour.
Stock characters are immediately recognisable and appear throughout the history of theatre, beginning with Greek and Roman comedy and elaborated upon in Commedia dell’ Arte.
The arrangement of and relationship between the constituent parts of a whole as in ‘prologue, exposition, dénouement’ or scenes and acts within a play (linear chronological or non-linear using cross-cutting and split stage)
The shaping of dramatic material, settings, or costumes in a deliberately nonrealistic manner
A feeling of uncertainty as to the outcome, used to build interest and excitement on the part of the audience
The use of symbolic language, imagery, or colour to evoke emotions or ideas
A technique in creative drama in which actors create a frozen picture, as if the action were paused; plural is tableaux. Not to be confused with freeze frame, which is a term used in film and video production and which should not be used when discussing drama
A specific group of people at whom a drama is aimed
Relative speed or rate of movement in pace over time, e.g. the speed at which the music for a dance should be played. Can be applied to dramatic contexts such as in ‘tempo rhythm’
The atmosphere created by unresolved, disquieting, or inharmonious situations that human beings feel compelled to address; the state of anxiety the audience feels because of a threat to a character in a play
Door in a floor
The basis of dramatic activity and performance; a written script or an agreed upon structure and content for an improvisation
Improvisational exercises structured by the director or teacher to achieve a specific objective, such as breaking down inhibitions or establishing trust
An acting area or stage that may be viewed from all sides simultaneously
The basic idea of a play; the idea, point of view, or perception that binds together a work of art
An aid to characterization: the character speaks their thoughts out loud
Character(s) walk past other characters who comment on their situation
A stage that extends into the audience area, with seats on three sides of a peninsula-shaped acting space
The distinctive character or quality of a musical or vocal sound apart from its pitch or intensity such as in a nasal voice quality
Includes setting cues for effects and lighting, synchronising two or more things that must happen simultaneously, and establishing the pace at which lines will be delivered or the play performed
Change of voice to express emotion
A drama about unhappy events and with a sad ending
Form of staging where the audience is on either side of the acting area
Piece of scenery on wheels for ease of movement
The climax or high point of a story, when events can go either way
Place where a drama is presented
How an actor uses his or her voice to convey character
Directing the voice out of the body to be heard clearly at a distance
The combination of vocal qualities an actor uses such as articulation, phrasing, and pronunciation
Recorded speech played during a drama
VOICES IN THE HEAD
Recall of words said by others about a character of situation
Loudness or quietness of the voice
Offstage areas to the right and left of the acting/onstage area