Words and terms you should know

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1 Words and terms you should know

2 TheatER: The structure within which theatrical performances are given. TheatRE: A collaborative art form including the composition, enactment, and interpretation of dramatic presentations for an audience.

3 Upstage Right Upstage Center Upstage Left Center Right Center Stage Center Left Downstage Right Downstage Center Downstage Left

4 Upstage Downstage Audience

5 Catwalks: Platforms and walkways above the audience to access equipment. Orchestra Pit: The area between the stage and the audience where the orchestra plays. Front of house: The area in the theater where the audience sits. Offstage/backstage: The area of the stage not seen by the audience. Booth: Room where the light operator, sound operator, and stage manager run the show.

6 1. Catwalks 2. Front of house 3. Orchestra pit 4. Upstage 5. Stage Left 6. Stage Right 7. Center Stage 8. Downstage 9. Booth 10. Backstage/offstage

7 Proscenium: The view of the stage for the audience; also called a proscenium arch. The archway is in a sense the frame for stage. Teaser: the border drapes across the top of the stage that conceals the lighting instruments. Leg: The drapes on the sides of the stage that conceal the backstage areas. Cyclorama: Large, white drape hung upstage. Grand Drape: The main curtain that conceals the stage from the audience. Apron: The area of the stage on the audience side of the grand drape.

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10 Fly System: System that controls the height of various elements. Battens: Pipes hung above the width of the stage that can be used for hanging scenery. Electric: A batten affixed with electrical outlets used for hanging and powering lighting instruments. Backdrop: A large piece of painted fabric hung behind the actors. Usually painted to resemble a realistic location.

11 1. Proscenium 2. Teaser 3. Leg 4. Cyclorama 5. Grand drape 6. Apron 7. Fly System 8. Battens 9. Electric 10. Backdrop

12 Actor/Actress: A male or female person who performs a role in a play, television, or movie. Director: The person who oversees the entire process of staging a production. Ensemble: A group of theatrical artists working together to create a theatrical production. Stage crew: The backstage technical crew responsible for running the show. Stage manager: The director s liaison backstage during rehearsal and performance. The stage manager is responsible for the running of each performance.

13 Blocking: The planning and working out of the movements of actors on stage. Cross: A movement from one part of the stage to another Position: The direction an actor is facing relative to the audience, but from the actor s perspective. Gesture: An expressive movement of the body or limbs. Tableau: A silent and motionless depiction of a scene created by actors.

14 ¼ Right ¾ Right ¼ Left ¾ Left Full Front Profile Right (1/2) Full Back Profile Left (1/2)

15 Volume: The degree of loudness or intensity of a voice. Vocal quality: The characteristics of a voice, such as shrill, nasal, raspy, breathy, booming, and so forth. Projection: The placement and delivery of volume, clarity, and distinctness of voice for communicating to an audience. Pitch: The highness or lowness of voice Articulation: The clear and precise pronunciation of words.

16 Sense memory: Memories of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures. It is used to help define a character in a certain situation. Subtext: Information that is implied by a character but not stated by a character in dialogue, including actions and thoughts Objective: A character s goal or intention Motivation: A character s reason for doing or saying things in a play. Characterization: The development and portrayal of a personality through thought, action, dialogue, costuming, and makeup.

17 Text: Printed words, including dialogue and the stage directions for a script. Dialogue: The conversation between actors on stage. Monologue: A long speech by a single character. Play: The stage representation of an action or a story; a dramatic composition. Stage Direction: The actions of a play printed in the script by the publisher.

18 Genre: The main types of literary form, principally tragedy and comedy. Style: The distinctive and unique manner in which a writer arranges words to achieve particular effects. Usually associated with a historical era or period of time it was most popular. Dramatic structure: The particular literary structure and style in which plays are written Tragedy: In the classical sense, a play that demonstrates a character s fall from grace. Comedy : A theatrical work that is intentionally humorous.

19 Plot: The ordered structure of a play as the action progresses through the story. Rising action: The part of a plot consisting of complications and discoveries that create conflict. Protagonist: The character through whose eyes we see the action of a play. Antagonist: A person or a situation that opposes the protagonist s goals or desires. Conflict : Opposition of persons or forces giving rise to dramatic action.

20 Crisis: A decisive point in the plot of a play on which the outcome of the remaining action depends. Climax: The point of greatest dramatic tension in a theatrical work. Falling Action: The final resolution of the conflict in a plot the tying up of loose ends. Exposition: Detailed information revealing the facts of a plot. Given Circumstances: the information laid out in the exposition where, when, socioeconomic conditions, political climate, etc.

21 Improvisation: A spontaneous style of theatre through which scenes are created without advance rehearsal or a script. Melodrama: A dramatic form popular in the 1800s and characterized by an emphasis on plot and physical action. Pantomime: Acting without words through facial expression, gesture, and movement. Mime: An incident art form based on pantomime in which conventionalized gestures are used to express ideas rather than represent actions. Musical theatre: A type of entertainment containing music, songs, and, usually, dance. Puppetry: Almost anything brought to life by human hands to create a performance.

22 Wagon: Any piece of scenery on a wheeled platform. Props (properties): Items carried on stage by an actor; small items on the set used by the actors. Set Piece: Anything not carried by an actor. Masks: Coverings worn over the face or part of the face of an actor to emphasize or neutralize facial characteristics. Make-up: Cosmetics and sometimes hairstyles that an actor wears on stage to emphasize facial features, historical periods, characterizations, and so forth. Costume: Clothing worn by an actor on stage during a performance.

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