Glossary

ACTING AREA: The area of the stage where the play is performed. Also called the Playing Area.

AMPHITHEATRE: Stepped banks of seating surrounding an arena. Also used to describe one of the tiers of a multi-level auditorium.

ANCHOR: To secure a set piece to the stage floor.

ARENA: One of the terms used to describe types of open stage. As it derives from the sand strewn combat area in a Roman amphitheatre, it should be a term for 360 degree encirclement; but it has been used to describe thrust stages.

BACKDROP (backcloth): A painted or black cloth hung down behind the acting area hide the backstage and to mark the back of the area in which acting takes place. See also Blacks.

BAR: A tube, pipe or barrel for holding spotlights.

BEAMLIGHT: Lanterns which have a strong concentrated beam of light, they have a parabolic reflector and are popular with rock and roll lighting and are sometimes used as soft-edged follow spots.

CANVAS (CANVASING): The fabric used to form a cloth or to cover a flat etc.

CALL: The notification to cast and crew of rehearsal or performance. Also the countdown to curtain provided by stage management, usually half-hour call, fifteen minute call, five minute call, and beginners.

CALL-BOARD: The bulletin board used by stage managers to post any information important to actors and crew, such as rehearsal schedules and costume fittings.

CENTRE LINE: An imaginary or real line that divides the stage area into two equal parts, running from downstage to upstage.

CREW: The backstage group of people who perform all the technical tasks during the show.

CURTAIN: In addition to its normal definition relating to draperies, a term used to indicate the start or end of a performance such as "Five minutes to curtain up" (five minutes to the start of the performance).

DEAD BLACKOUT: Complete darkness on stage, used to hide scenery changes or to create dramatic effect.

DOWNSTAGE: Portions of a stage nearest the audience

DRESSER: A member of staff who helps actors to get in to costume

GREEN ROOM: A back-stage room used by actors and crew as a waiting and meeting area.

MASK: To hide any equipment or offstage area through the use of curtains, flats, etc.

PACE: The tempo of the performance.

STAGE CLOTH: Large piece of canvas, used to cover the stage floor, often painted to represent paving etc.

STAGE DIRECTIONS: Instructions indicating the movement, blocking, or stage business of the performers or other descriptions of the physical setting or atmosphere of the play.

TECHNICAL REHEARSAL: The rehearsal or series of rehearsals in which the technical elements of the show are integrated with the work of the actors. Also called The Tech.