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Vocabulary for the Theater INDEX OF VOCABULARY LESSONS 1. Theatrical Personnel 2. Theater Architecture 3. Theatrical Terms 4. Theater Jargon 5. Theater as a Profession 6. Stage Directions 7. Director’s Terms 8. Theater: Literary Terms 9. Theater: Styles and Genres in Western Theater 10. Acting 11. Dance/Movement 12. Music 13. Plays: From Script to Performance 14. Acting and Literary Terms in Acting 15. Speech 16. Anatomical Terms Involving Vocal Performance 17. Scenic Elements 18. Basic Design Terminology 19. Artistic Movements 20. Color Wheel Terminology 21. Color Definitions 22. Color Relationships or Harmonies 23. Elements of Art 24. Principles of Design 25. Vocabulary for Publicity 26. Vocabulary for Props 27. Vocabulary for Scenery 28. Vocabulary for Makeup 29. Vocabulary for Sound 30. Vocabulary for Lighting 31. Theater History Vocabulary: Greece 32. Theater History Vocabulary: Musical Theater Note: Every profession has its own jargon. Theater, being a profession, is no exception. These definitions come from a wide variety of sources, but in particular the NTC’s Dictionary of Theatre and Drama Terms by Jonnie Patricia Mobley, Ph.D, was used with the most frequency. While this format is designed to educate, it cannot replace an actual dictionary. I highly recommend this research book by NTC Publishing Group. Theatrical Personnel Company* A troupe of performers and technicians who join together to perform a show. Producer person who puts up the money for the show & sometimes handles business for the show Board of Directors Group of people running the theater and therefore having influence on the shows being produced Artistic Director person in charge of the artistic elements of the show Production Manager in charge of the overall activities of the theater Director In modern theater, the major interpretive figure, the artistic visionary whose job it is to bring to life the playwright’s script. The director’s primary objective is to provide artistic meaning to the theater experience. In the very least, the person who is in charge of leading and coordinating the cast and crew and responsible for the outcome of the show itself Playwright author of the play Stage Manager The person who is in complete charge backstage during the rehearsals and performances, he/she also calls cues during the show and is therefore in charge of running the show Assistant Director person who helps the director Actors people who perform Business Manager person in charge of the business side of the show/theater, particularly money issues Fundraiser attempts to bring in money for the theater Box Office Manager Person in charge of ticket sales, reserving seats, ensuring the show is not oversold, even online and phone ticket sales although these are often subcontracted to a group like TicketMaster Box Office Crew persons who sell tickets House Manager Person who oversees the box office, supervises the ushers and attends to the audience Publicist person who is in charge of publicity Ushers persons who help seat audience members Set Designer person who designs the set Lighting Designer person who designs the lights Sound Designer person in charge of designing the sound Costume Designer person who designs the costumes Makeup Designer person who designs the make up Technical Director person in charge of all technical elements of show Prop Master person who builds & is in charge of props Scene Shop Supervisor person in charge of the scene shop Set Construction Crew people who build the set Prop Crew in charge of handling props during the show Master Electrician person in charge of hanging, focusing and gelling the lights Lighting Crew people who hang, focus and gel the lights Sound Crew set up & run sound Costume Crew people who construct the costumes Makeup Artist person who applies the makeup Stage Crew* group of people charged with running the show, moving set pieces and other items. Techies* Nickname for technical crew members Assistant Designers * people who assist designers through the creative process Production team* Heads of groups like designers and the director, producers may attend, etc. Design team* group responsible for all visual & audible images, this is for the designers Librettist* The writer of the text of a work (such as an opera or musical) Lyricist* The person who creates and writes the words or lyrics for songs Composer* Person who writes the music or score for songs or musical sequences in a show Stage Combat/Fight Person in charge of blocking and rehearsing the fight Choreographer* segments in a show. Segments could range from a slap in the face to multi-person bar fight to sword play to martial arts combat. They are also charged with the safety of those scenes. Choreographer* The person who designs the dance steps to be used in a show. Dramaturg* One who researches and studies a play in order to explain it to the actors, serve as an expert with regards to questions on the text, characters, clothing, setting, time period, style of acting, etc. * indicates that this position is not included on your hierarchy chart. Next is a copy of the Production Process. The previous vocabulary combined with the following chart will help you to understand where people fit in to create a show. Theater Architecture Formal playing space Areas designed for theatrical performances including proscenium stage, arena stage, black box theater, thrust stage, and stadium stage Informal playing space Acting/audience space that was designed for another purpose. Productions in streets, bus terminals, gymnasiums, parks, and the like are said to use informal playing spaces Arena stage (also called audience surrounds acting area in-the-round) Black box theater Flexible room for theater performances where the audience seating and playing areas can be rearranged in any way that suits the individual needs of the individual production. It is traditionally painted black inside. Thrust stage type of stage that juts out past proscenium Proscenium stage Picture-frame acting area with all of the audience sitting and facing the stage, looking through the proscenium arch Proscenium arch The picture frame through which the audience watches the show Apron (forestage) Stage area in front of the main curtain Raked stage slanted stage floor Stage house whole area of performance including fly space, stage floor, curtains, wings, etc. Flies Area above stage where scenery is hung or stored by lines from the grid Grid Framework high over stage from which are supported curtains, lighting and scenery rigging Catwalk Metal bridge that allows crew to reach scenery or lights Stage where actors do most of their performance Trap Door or Trap An opening in the floor of the stage used for appearance and disappearance effects Grand drape luxurious fabric used as the furthest downstage curtain Legs Vertically hung curtains used to mask the backstage area from the audience Borders Horizontally hung curtains used to mask the fly system and stage lights from the audience Traveler Curtain that covers the width of the stage and can be opened Wings Offstage areas, right and/or left sides of the stage Back wall structure separates stage from backstage area Stage door / backstage entrance for backstage, this is where only the cast, crew and door staff of the show enter the theater Backstage Stage area beyond the acting area where ―behind the scenes‖ activity takes place Call board area where information is left for everyone Dressing rooms where actors get dressed Green room rest/gathering area for actors, often used before a show and during intermission Prop table items used in the show are put on this to make it easy for the actors to get to them Scene shop area where scenery is built Paint shop place where scenery or other items are painted Costume shop area where costumes are being made Prop shop where props are made Light booth area where light is controlled Sound booth place where sound is controlled House Term used to describe the area of a theater where the audience customarily sits Orchestra pit or pit Area immediately below the stage that is usually lower than the auditorium level. Used primarily by the orchestra as it is the area where musicians perform Orchestra (this is not the Another name for the House, the audience sits here close to musicians) the stage, it is ground level Balcony upper level for seating Mezzanine a lower balcony for seating Front of house Lobby, box office, auditorium area of the theater, the public areas Box office Place where admission tickets are sold; the power of a performer to attract an audience The following diagram will help you understand the layout of a typical theater. While all theaters are different, you should be able to find many of the above terms in a theater. Don’t forget to examine our theater and locate the architectural elements on the list with the real thing! EXAMPLE OF THE LAYOUT OF A THEATER Theatrical Terms Legitimate theater Straight drama, without songs, dances or music. The term dates back to eighteenth-century English licensing laws which covered only nonmusical shows. Hence, any show licensed was ―legitimate.‖ In modern times the term has come to mean stage shows distinct from films and television. Premiere First time a show is being performed or first performance of a show by a theater to the public On book Someone who has a script and is following along to make sure the show is flowing correctly Cue Word, move or technical change which signals another word move or technical change Prompt book Contains script, blocking, notations, warnings, cues, crew charts and other necessary information for producing the show Off book Actors have their lines and blocking memorized Lines Dialog for a play Tag line The last line in a scene or play Production concept The director’s vision used as an organizing principle for a given production of a play; for example, setting Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in the Roaring Twenties. It is the idea which the show is built around. Production process The process in which all of the individual groups involved in theater prepare and create a show Season Shows chosen by a theater to perform over a period of time Run (1) length of the stage engagement of a show at a theater (2) actually performing a show or scene Run through Rehearse scene without interruption Glib Rehearsal where actors say their lines quickly; there are many unique names for this type of rehearsal. Glibs can be done for scenes that actors are having trouble with or they can be done for entire acts or shows. Tech week Week in which technical elements are added to rehearsal Tech rehearsal Rehearsal of for a show in which specific technical elements are incorporated into the show. Example: Monday sound will be rehearsed, Tuesday lights will be added, etc. Dress rehearsal Rehearsal incorporating costumes Final dress rehearsal Last rehearsal before opening the show Rehearsal (versus practice) Process of building and growing toward performance. In a rehearsal an actor would evolve, in a practice an actor would work to do a part the exact same way every time. Dark time when the theater is not in use or when a show isn’t running Call Posted announcement or a pre-determined time for rehearsal, often information is on call board Quick study One who can rapidly memorize a part. Angel Financial backer of a show Strike Removing an item; process of taking apart the show Load in To place the set on the stage where the play is to be performed To meet cute The situation in a romantic comedy in which the principals first encounter each other with clever stage business, witty dialog or both. This device serves to make the principals engaging to the audience. Mise-en-scene From French meaning ―action of putting on the stage.‖ It refers to the total environment of a play—the sets, costumes, blocking, visual effects, and props and the composition of these elements. The term also refers to the ―look‖ of a play at any given moment in a performance. Suspension of disbelief The audience’s willingness to accept the illusion and conventions of a theater performance Fourth Wall Nineteenth century concept of a completely realistic performance space that the audience looked into through a removed or invisible wall Theater Jargon ―Line‖ What an actor says when he forgets a line, it is asking for a prompt by someone on book so that the correct may be remembered ―Pick up cues‖ Not allowing time/pauses between cues Throw away This happens when an actor under emphasizes a line or action ―in the spotlight‖ Focus or attention is on the person ―in the spotlight‖ Stealing the scene Taking audience attention away from the intended focus of the scene Upstaging When an actor is literally upstage of another actor, causing the downstage actor to turn his back to the audience and give total focus to the upstage actor Ham An actor who overacts Hokum A slang expression for gimmicks used by an actor to get a response from the audience (think giving a cream pie in face) Mugging Using exaggerated facial expressions as directed for comic effect, out of a desire to upstage another actor, or because of bad acting technique. Star turn The drawing of undue attention by an actor to himself or herself by various means such as vocal quality, facial expressions, never making eye contact with other actors on stage. Feed line A ―straight‖ actor sets up the joke for the ―comic‖ actor Muff To say a line wrong, either by mixing up the words or mispronouncing them. Second banana The stooge of the lead comic in a show, sometimes his confidant, but always the butt of his jokes. The term derives from an old burlesque routine about the distribution of a bunch of bananas between the lead comic and his assistant. The Heavy The villain in the play Bit part Small role consisting of few lines and a brief appearance on stage Spear carrier Slang expression for an actor who appears on stage just to fill out a crowd or procession. The term derives from grand opera where such a character often carried a spear. Actor proof A play that is so well written and is impervious to all bad acting is said to be ―actor proof‖ Annie Oakley A complimentary ticket to a performance. Named so because of the custom of punching a hole in the ticket to imitate the effect achieved by the famed sharpshooter who shot a hole through tickets in an exhibition. Boards The stage Chew the scenery or To overact, indulge in histrionics, flail about, gesture too chewing scenery broadly, or behave in an emotional manner, all out of proportion to the content of the scene. Goes up Time when a show starts each evening, referring to when the curtain goes up to start the show Comes down Refers to the time a show ends each evening and comes from when the curtain comes down at the end of a show. Drag When a man wears woman’s clothing for a part in a show Pants part A role in which an actress plays a male role Dressing the stage Decorating the set Greek it To use fake lettering in scenic design Hit your mark A direction for an actor to go to a certain place onstage and deliver a line, make an entrance or perform some stage business In the moment Living the actions and words of a scene and not anticipating what comes next Holding for laughs When actors wait for the audience’s laughter to diminish in order to continue with their lines ―Break a Leg‖ Phrase used to wish theater people ―good luck‖ since good luck is bad luck in theater tradition. This comes from the superstition that if someone wished ―good luck‖ the perverse gods would send bad luck so by wishing bad luck the gods would be tricked into sending an actor good luck ―Places‖ Warning for actors to assume their positions to begin performing George Spelvin A false name used in the play program to conceal from the audience that an actor is playing two roles. It is thought to have been used first in the 1907 production of Brewster’s Millions by Winchell Smith and Frederick Thompson. A director wishing to remain unknown uses Alan Smithee in the program listing. The ghost walks A term used by actors for payday. In Shakespeare’s time, the actor playing the Ghost in Hamlet was also the stage manager who delivered the pay to each actor in the cast. Thus, when it was payday, the ghost walked among them. Theater as a Profession Head shot A black and white photo of the head and shoulders of an actor used in the audition process Resume A short account of a person’s education, career and qualifications prepared by the applicant for a position; in the theater, an 8‖x10‖ black and white head shot photograph is part of the resume Portfolio A place (usually a large folder) where writing and designs are stored for future reference and review or to present for evaluations Audition The tryout process of acting, singing and dancing for performers to apply for a role or a part in a particular production or with a company. Cold reading An audition where the actor must read from a script without any preparation. Many directors prefer this to a prepared reading, feeling that they able to see more of the actor’s potential and range. Pre-cast To cast certain roles in a production before the auditions are held. Callback When a select group of actors who auditioned are asked back for a more in-depth process of choosing the cast or company members for a particular show Summer stock Theaters that limit performances of shows to the summer months, producing a series of plays often a different one every few weeks Outdoor drama Performances in outdoor theaters/amphitheaters Dinner Theater A meal and a performance Educational or academic A theater that is connected with a school and having theater educational rather than commercial goals. Repertory company A theater group that performs the plays in the season’s repertoire, with members taking large parts in some plays and small parts in others. Straw hat circuit Summer theaters around the country that book equity companies of hit shows to play for a week or two Street theater Performances in the open, usually by groups expressing the concerns of the area or general social problems Studio theater A small theater, usually seating no more than fifty, used for workshop productions, experimental plays, or rehearsal when the main stage is unavailable. Broadway Commercial theater productions performed in the theater district in New York City Off Broadway Commercial theater productions away from the central theater district in New York City. It refers to both plays and theaters. Off-Off Broadway Because many playwrights and producers felt that Off Broadway was becoming too expensive and conventional, they found places to perform their pieces away from Off Broadway venues Regional theater Also called resident theater. A professional or non-profit theater located away from such major theater centers as Broadway. A few major regional theaters include the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and the Goodman Theatre in Chicago West End The London equivalent of New York City’s theater district Actor’s Equity This is a union and is the professional stage actor’s association in the United States that regulates actor’s salaries, working conditions and terms of employment. Equity waiver Permission from Actor’s Equity to perform in a non-Equity theater Actor’s Studio Acting workshop founded in New York City in the 1940s. Lee Strasberg was the artistic director for many years and it became famous for promoting Strasberg’s version of The Method. Famous graduates like Marlon Brando cemented its fame and it is now a popular television series interviewing stars with host John Lipton. American College Theatre An annual competition of college and university productions Festival that begins in local areas and advances to state, regional and national festivals. Sponsored by the American Theatre Association, the festival names the best production of the year and gives awards for acting, writing and designing. American Theater Wing The organization that conducts the Tony Awards. It began as a group running canteens for service personnel during World War II. It is now active in educational projects, gives awards and performs in hospitals. Antoinette Perry Awards Popularly called the Tonys or Tony Awards, these mounted silver medallions depicting the masks of comedy and tragedy are awarded each year for the best work in such areas as acting, writing and design in New York theater. The award is named to honor Antoinette Perry, an actor, director and theater activist of the 1930s and 40s. The first Tonys were given in 1947, Olivier Awards The British equivalent of the Tonys. Name for Sir Laurence Olivier, English actor, director and producer. Pulitzer Prize One of several literary prizes awarded according to the will of Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911). In drama the prize is given to the ―best American play performed in New York.‖ It generally shows the power and educational value of theater. Cabaret A nightclub that features song and dance and comedy acts while patrons dine and drink. It can also refer to the entertainment offered. Variety A weekly journal that details the news of show business Poetics Aristotle’s treatise on the nature of art. Stage Directions Stage directions Written description of movement on stage Upstage (US) Area of the stage furthest away from the audience, toward the back wall in a proscenium stage theater Downstage (DS) Area of the stage closest to the audience Stage Right (SR) The actor’s right side as he faces the audience Stage Left (SL) The actor’s left side as he faces the audience Center or Centerstage (C Literally, the space at the very center of the stage or CS) Upstage Right (UR) Point far from audience and to the actor’s right, near the stage’s back wall and the SR wing Upstage Left (UL) Point far from audience and to the actor’s left, near the stage’s back wall and the SL wing Upstage Center Point far from audience and in the center of the center of the stage, near the stage’s back wall Downstage Right (DR) Point close to audience and to the actor’s right of center Downstage Left (DL) Point close to audience and to the actor’s left of center Downstage Center (DSC) Center area of the stage closest to the audience North (N), South (S), East Directions used in theater-in-the-round, director and actors (E), West (W), Northeast have to pick an area to be N and then every direction falls (NE), Southeast (SE), into place clockwise, just like directions on a compass Southwest (SW), Northwest (NW) Exit Direction for an actor to leave the stage. Opposite ―enter‖ Enter Direction for an actor to come onto the stage. Opposite ―exit‖ Above Upstage of someone or something Below Downstage of someone or something Out-front Audience area Off stage When an actor is out of sight of the audience On stage When an actor is in sight of the audience STAGE DIRECTIONS FOR THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF THEATERS Director’s Terms Table work Time spent with director and cast, often around a table, reading the script, talking about character and developing the approach to the show Blocking Movement given to actor by the director Gesture Use of hands and arms by an actor, created by the actor Gimmick A device, a bit of stage business, catch phrase, vocal quirk, etc. to hold the audience’s attention Stage business Action created by actors to create sense of reality on stage. Example: whittling, knitting, smoking, washing dishes, folding laundry Shtick, shtik A piece of stage business, usually designed for a quick and easy laugh Movement Stage blocking or the movements of the actors onstage as the play progresses. Movement conveys meaning—agitated pacing, eager running, etc. The term also refers to the action of the play as it advances from event to event. Directing Molding all aspects of production—the acting, scenery, costumes, makeup, lighting—into a unified whole Director’s concept Central idea, metaphor that forms the basis for all artistic choices in a production Director’s notes Comments and criticism by the director presented to the cast after the performance Subtext Character interpretations that are not in a script but are supplied by an actor; this can be the same or different from the subtext of the play itself Counter, countering or Small move made in the direction opposite a move made by counter-cross another actor, done to balance stage composition and blocking Focus Directing attention toward a specific thing or event so that the audiences takes note (can be done with through action, lighting, sound, etc.) Clear stage Warning for everyone who is not in the next scene to leave the acting area Cover To hide an actor, property or some business from the audience’s view whether intentionally or not Cross An actor’s move from one part of the stage to another Cheat out To turn towards the audience while appearing to focus on another player onstage in order to be seen better Open up To play toward the audience Critique Evaluation and suggestions Cut (1) to delete (2) a command to stop action and dialogue Kill Eliminate. Example, ―Kill the house lights‖ Dress the stage Keeping the stage picture balanced Ensemble playing A cast works together to create an artistic whole rather than stressing individual players Brighten A direction to an actor to read the line with more liveliness Byplay An action that takes place to the side while the main action of the play goes on. The byplay catches the attention of the audience but does not completely distract from the main action. Tableau A grouping of silent, motionless actors representing an incident and presenting an artistic spectacle. The tableau may conclude an act or a series of tableaux may create a pageant of expressions. Verisimilitude Creating the impression of reality in the mind of the audience so that it will accept the characters and actions as true to life. Picture The general look of the set as seen from an average seat in the house Take direction An actor’s ability to do what a director wants Timing The pace at which lines, cues or the flow of the show moves, it is similar to tempo Casting Selecting the actors to play the characters in show. An audition would be the actual trying out for the roles. Typecasting The casting of roles in a play by choosing actors who most closely resemble the physical and personality descriptions of the characters. Understudy An actor who is cast as one role but is also cast as the backup for another. Double casting The practice of casting two actors or sets of actors who then alternate in performances of the role Implicit directions Stage directions implied in the lines of the play Line reading The manner in which an actor delivers a line. A director may ask for a specific type of line reading or demonstrate how he/she wishes the line to be read. Make it larger A direction to the actor to make the delivery of a line less subtle and more energetic Pace The speed with which a play is performed. BLOCKING SYMBOLS EXAMPLE OF A DIRECTOR’S SCRIPT Theater: Literary Terms Aesthetics Study of the nature of beauty Aesthetic A physical or psychological separation between the audience and the distance action of a play. Such separation is necessary to maintain the artistic illusion of the performance. Participatory theater attempts to eliminate this distance. Criticism Verbalized responses to the play or script that is meant to enrich the experience for others Plot The series of related events that take place in a play. Introduction or Events at the start of the show, usually providing information that opening situation will help the audience understand what is going on or hook their interest Point of attack The moment in a play at which the main action of the plot begins. Initial incident The first, most important event in a play from which the rest of the plot develops Rising Action or The series of events following the initial incident and usually build in Complications interest toward the climax Turning Point The moment in a play when events can go either way; the moment of decision; the crisis Climax The point of highest intensity in the action of the play Denouement or The unknotting of the event in the play, takes place after climax, Resolution or helping to resolve the climax Falling Action Conclusion The last main division of a play; the final result or outcome of the plot Oratorical Historical acting style characterized by a very formal speech Text Script, dialogue Subplot A second plot subsidiary to the main one in a play. Subtext The thoughts, feelings, and reactions implied but never state in the dialog of a play. Symbol An object or event used in literature to expand on meaning; also, the use of characters, props and sets to exemplify ideas such as a raven signifying death. Metaphor A figure of speech describing something by speaking of it as if it were something else, without using such terms as ―like‖ or ―as‖ to signal relationship. To say ―the dinner was a symphony of flavors‖ is to speak metaphorically. Anachronism A person or thing that is out of place chronologically Archetypal A character who represents a large group of people sharing the same character dreams, goals, etc. An archetypal character grows and changes, unlike a stock character, and by the end of the show they are not the same people as they were at the beginning. Stock character A character who is static, two-dimensional and who merely fills out or static the cast and elicits a predictable response, not changing in the play character Stock situation A situation recurring frequently in drama: mistaken identity, rags-to- riches, etc. Unities Three principles of dramatic structure required in a play—unity of time, unity of action and unity of place. Motif A recurrent character, incident or concept Irony Acknowledgement of the difference between reality and appearance Dramatic irony Form of irony when the audience knows something in the play that the character does not Epigram A short, polished, witty, often satirical comment Prologue A speech made to start a play Epilogue A speech made to conclude a play Monologue A speech by one person Dialogue A conversation with two or more people Soliloquy A speech in which an actor, usually alone on stage, speaks his or her thoughts aloud. Stichomythia Rapidly delivered dialog in which the characters speak alternate lines. The effect is that each character finishes the other’s thoughts. Foil A character in a play so different from another in character that he/she highlights the other by contrast Motivation The reason a character does something Obstacle A character or situation in a play that creates conflict that delays or prevents another character from achieving an objective. Reversal A plot reversal when an action produces the opposite of what was desired or expected. Play-within-a- A brief play presented during the action of another play. play Playwright’s Lines in a play that express the author’s feelings on a subject. Also voice called playwright’s words. Theater: Styles and Genres in Western Theater Drama A literary composition performed on stage; a play Genre A category of plays, for example a comedy, tragedy, melodrama, or farce. Styles The way in which a play is written, acted and produced Tragedy A play in which the protagonist fails to achieve desired goals or is overcome by opposing forces. Comedy A play that deals with treating characters and situations in a humorous way. High comedy Intellectual humor Low comedy Physical humor Farce French for ―to stuff’, it is an extreme form of comedy depending on quick tempo and flawless timing so that the audience does not have time to think about the far-fetched events. It dates back to satyr plays in Greece Parody The mockery of a writing style by an exaggerated imitation of its predominant characteristics. Satire A type of comedy that uses wit, irony and exaggeration to expose individual and institutional folly, vice and stupidity. Satire aims at directly or indirectly correcting such abuses. One act play A short play, running from 15 minutes to an hour. It is performed without intermission. One man show A performance by a single actor or one woman show Participatory A type of play in which the audience is involved in the performance. theater Performance art A presentation, more often solo than group and highly personal in nature, enhanced by music or art created or finished during the performance. Also created could be slides, films, props sound effects, etc. Period piece A play from an earlier time, played in the style, costumes, and sets representing the period it depicts. Play of ideas A play in which the main issue or problem is an intellectual one, such as class conflict, morality of war. Pastoral play A show set in the country idealizing rustic life. Problem play Any play dealing with problems Propaganda play A play dealing with a political or social issue and proposing a solution Revenge play Any play about bloody retribution Punch and Judy A hand-puppet show, usually given in a park or fair, operated by one Show person in a booth the top half of which is the stage. Punch and Judy are married and quarrel constantly. The violence and dysfunction is meant to entertain rather than scare. Reader’s theater A performance at which a play is read aloud for an audience rather than truly acted. In reader’s theater the actors may dress alike or may dress in costume; they may sit on stools or stand at lecterns or walk about the stage. The play script is usually held in a folder and, although the play has been rehearsed and the actors are familiar with the lines, there is no attempt to pretend they are not reading. Revue A production featuring a collection of songs, dances or sketches. Showcase A presentation designed to show off the ability of a particular actor or group of actors. Revival A play performed sometime after its original production. To be a true revival, the production should be a faithful recreation of the original; otherwise, it should be called an adaptation or a new version. Classical Period of Greek drama and theater; refers to Greek and Roman drama and theater in general Mystery play A type of medieval drama concerned with biblical themes, especially events connected with the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Miracle play A type of medieval drama that depicted some miraculous event from the life of a saint. Morality play A dramatized allegory developed in fifteenth-century England, in which the vices and virtues are personified as they battle for a human soul. Passion play The German equivalent of the English mystery play. Neoclassicism Drama imitative of Greek and Roman classical models. Melodrama Drama originating in nineteenth-century England that relies heavily on sensationalism and sentimentality. Romanticism A nineteenth-century tendency toward florid staging of the grand passions of larger-than-life characters. Realism An attempt in theater to represent everyday life and people as they are or appear to be, through careful attention to detail in motivation of characters, costuming, setting, and dialogue. Naturalism A form of realism that dispenses with theatrical conventions in order to present a ―slice of life.‖ Absolute detail is seen in everything as the attempt is produce reality. Naturalism is real life on stage where Realism represents real life on stage. Theatricalism A reaction to realism of the early 1900s, it asserted that theater is not life bur merely carefully selected and arranged details of the playwright’s, director’s and actor’s vision of life Theater of the A form of theater in which language becomes the unconventional, Absurd and in which political and social problems are examined and presented to the audience in unconventional ways. Avant-garde Abstract approaches to theater; modern movements in theater Vaudeville Light entertainment consisting of ten to fifteen individual acts like singing, dancing, acrobatics, comic skits, animal performers, etc., all unrelated in one show. The movement ended with the introduction of sound in motion pictures. Acting Empathy The act of the audience identifying with the characters in the play Sympathy An audience’s identification with a character so that it trembles when he or she is afraid and rejoices when he or she is happy Ensemble The type of acting in which a group of actors really has to perform as playing a team instead of individual performances for the total effect of the show to be realized Mime From the Greek word mimos meaning ―representation.‖ It is generally taken to mean acting without words. It is also an actor who only mimes. Pantomime The art of acting without words Objective The goal a character has in a particular scene or throughout a play Openers The characters who are onstage at, or shortly after, the beginning of the play Chorus In Greek drama of the fifth century BC, a group of actors who sang, chanted, spoke, and moved usually in unison Principals Leading roles in a show Persona The character an actor assumes in a play. Presentational A style of performance in which the actors recognize and address the audience Representational A style in which actors observe the convention of the fourth wall, actors do not address or mingle with the audience. Prior life A presumed life of a character before his/her appearance in the play. Raison d’etre French, meaning ―reason for being.‖ In a play it is the reason behind a character’s words and actions. Sense memory An actor’s device for summoning up emotion by recalling a previous real-life event Relation to An establishment of relationships in a play so that actors who play characters characters connected by blood, marriage, friendship, or conflict will act as though they have been involved in actual relationships and will not give the impression they just met in rehearsal. Relation to An establishment of relationships in a play so that actors using certain objects objects or wearing certain clothes will act as if these items are really theirs and not as if they saw the objects or garments for the first time in rehearsal. Repertoire All the parts an actor has played, or all the plays he or she is familiar with. Also, the plays in production by a company in a single season, or the plays the company knows well enough to present on short notice. Off book When an actor knows the lines from a show and does not need to refer to the script On book When someone is following along in the script during a rehearsal or show and is able to give the lines to the actors Run lines To recite the lines of a play without the accompanying blocking or stage business. This is often done to help actors get off book Dance/Movement Turnout bent, bending. A bending of the knee or knees. This is an exercise to render the joints and muscles soft and pliable and the tendons flexible and elastic, and to develop a sense of balance. Plié the ability of the dancer to turn his or her feet and legs out from the hip joints to a 90-degree position. Demi Plié half-bend of the knees. All steps of elevation begin and end with a demi- plie. Rond de round of the leg, that is, a circular movement of the leg. Jambe Port de carriage of the arms. The term port de bras has two meanings: (1) A Bras movement or series of movements made by passing the arm or arms through various positions. The passage of the arms from one position to another constitutes a port de bras. (2) A term for a group of exercises designed to make the arms move gracefully and harmonious. Pirouette whirl or spin. A complete turn of the body on one foot, on point or demi- pointe. Pirouettes are performed en dedans turning inward toward the supporting leg, or en dehors, turning outward in the direction of the raised leg Pas step. A simple step or a compound movement, which involves a transfer of weight. Example: pas de bourree. Grande Jete (run and leap) large jete. In this step the legs are thrown to 90 degrees with a corresponding high jump. Grapevine a ballroom movement that has been adapted to all forms of dance, and consists of walking to the side. Neutral enables dancer to move in any direction from a state of rest. The Position performer’s body is aligned, shoulders over knees, arms at rest, head/chin aligned forward. Dance The leader of the dancers who usually is responsible for teaching steps Captain after the choreographer has demonstrated them Terpsichore One of the nine Olympian muses, Terpsichore is the patron of dancing. The art of dancing is sometimes called Terpsichore. Music Cut-off an indication by a conductor to end a musical phrase. Syncopation a temporary displacement of the regular metrical accent in music caused typically by stressing the weak beat. Beat a constant and repeated pulse in music. Tempo the rate of speed of a musical piece or passage indicated by one of a series of directions (as largo, presto, or allegro) and often by an exact metronome marking. Crescendo a gradual increase; specifically: a gradual increase in volume of a musical passage. Decrescendo a gradual decrease. Staccato marked by short clear-cut playing or singing of tones or chords. Legato in a manner that is smooth and connected (as between successive tones) – used especially as a direction in music. Piano at a soft volume; also an instrument used as a direction in music. Forte fullest volume. Mezzo Forte medium volume. Harmony the combination of simultaneous musical notes in a chord. Register the area in which the melody of a song is sounded either on an instrument (High and or in the voice. Low) Score the notation of a piece of music showing all instrumental and vocal parts. Lyrics the words of a song. Libretto From the Italian meaning ―little book,‖ it refers to the dialog between the songs in a musical show. The writer of this portion is credited after the words ―book by.‖ Opera All words are sung, not spoken Operetta A type of theater with music, song and dance, but unlike opera, it has spoken dialogue Plays: From Script to Performance Script Printed copy of the play, sometimes referred to as the book Structure The overall framework or organization of the dramatic material Plot The series of related events that take place in a play. Introduction or Events at the start of the show, usually providing information that opening situation will help the audience understand what is going on or hook their interest Point of attack The moment in a play at which the main action of the plot begins. Initial incident The first, most important event in a play from which the rest of the plot develops Rising Action or The series of events following the initial incident and usually build Complications in interest toward the climax Turning Point The moment in a play when events can go either way; the moment of decision; the crisis Climax The point of highest intensity in the action of the play Denouement or The unknotting of the event in the play, takes place after climax, Resolution or helping to resolve the climax Falling Action Conclusion The last main division of a play; the final result or outcome of the plot Antagonist Either of two opponents in conflict, or the character who opposes the protagonist. Protagonist The main character in a play Action That which happens physically in a play and involves a distinct beginning, middle and end. Conflict Struggle between two opposing forces which gives rise to dramatic action Crisis Moment of decision for the leading character; the highest point of conflict Theme Basic idea of the play that gives unity to all elements Central action The series of events presented in a play. What Aristotle called simply the action or the general movement of the plot. Complication An incident that further tangles the plot. Comic relief Comedic bits inserted in a tragedy to help break the tension Schmaltz Sentimental material or sentimental treatment of material Repertory A group of plays presented in rotation over a period of time Mainstage In a theater complex with more than one performance space, it is production the production on the largest stage. In academic settings, it is the major production of the school term, as apposed to workshop productions or student-written plays. Canon The entire body of work by a given playwright. Closet drama A play meant to be read but not performed. Royalty Money paid to an author for permission to stage his or her play Copyright The playwright’s legal ownership and control over production of his or her play in public, and over reproduction in print of whole or huge portions of the script. After seventy-five years, most works are in the public domain and can be printed or performed by anyone without the permission of the author. Acting and Literary Terms in Acting Acting Convention A way of doing things agreed on by an unstated contract between audience and artists Affective memory An actor’s technique of recreating an emotion on stage by recalling an equivalent experience in his or her life Aside Thoughts of a character delivered directly to the audience with the other characters on stage unable to hear what is being said. Audition Competitive tryout for a performer seeking a role in a theater production. The process may include interviews, ―cold‖ readings from the script, the presentation of a prepared audition piece, improvisations, or any combination of these. Character Participant in the play whose qualities and traits arise from ethical deliberation. ―People‖ in a play. Characterizations Putting together all facets of a character to make that character a living, convincing human being Dialect Regional or ethnic speech, sometimes necessary for an actor in a particular role Dialogue The lines of a play spoken by characters. Ensemble The dynamic interaction and harmonious blending of the efforts of the many artists involved in the dramatic activity of theatrical production. Foil One that, by strong contrast, underscores the distinctive characteristics of another and sometimes prevents someone or something from being successful Improvisation The impromptu portrayal of a character or scene without any rehearsal or preparation or script Improvisational The actor is assigned a character and given a brief description of a situation to perform with no preparation Ad-lib To improvise something—dialogue, stage business—not given specifically in the script. While often done in emergencies, a playwright may choose to indicate business with it (example: ―crowd ad-libs amazement‖) The Method Acting style characterized by a variety of techniques to simulate realism Soliloquy Speeches delivered by actors alone on a stage that reveal the character’s innermost thoughts aloud. Catharsis Emotional purging or an uplifting release that the audience feels during a performance, particularly at the end of a tragedy Empathy Emotional feedback between performer and audience Ingenue Young, attractive, innocent female lead in a play, generally the romantic interest, also and actress who plays such parts Juvenile The male counterpart to the ingénue and her partner in the romantic plot, also an actor who plays such parts Leading man/lady The principle characters in a play, generally older than the ingénue and juvenile, but also attractive and part of the romantic part. In musicals, they are often the singers rather than the dancers Subtext Implied thoughts not stated in the dialogue but motivating the speech or action Timing To give lines and movements at the exact effective moment Understudy Actor who is able to play a given role in an emergency Character role A major role in a play, but not one of the romantic leads. Often used to mean a character unlike the actor playing the role in terms of age, voice, or physical characteristics. Also used for elderly and funny characters. Example, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. Choices The decisions of the actor or director as to the way a character in a play will be interpreted in a given production. Most directors prefer to let actors explore their choices before deciding on what will best serve the show. Tension The state of anxiety induced in the audience by the threat of danger to a character in a play Tempo The pace of a scene or play. Direct address Speech delivered straight to the audience Dynamic character A character that grows and changes in the course of the show Narrator A character outside the action of a play who explains or comments on events. Stage Directions Notes added to the script of a play, generally in italics or parentheses, that provide line readings, business, blocking, or directions for effects. Speech Articulation Is the shaping of speech sounds into recognizable oral symbols that go together to make up a word. It is also speaking distinctly. Enunciation Is to speak or pronounce words clearly Pronunciation Is to precisely speak the sounds that make up the words. Diction Proper pronunciation, clarity and formation of words Projection The act of controlling volume, clarity and distinctness of a voice to gain greater audibility for an audience Build Increase of vocal intensity toward a climatic point Topping To exceed the tempo and pitch of the previous speech Pitch The highness or lowness of the sound you make Key Average pitch at which you speak Optimum The pitch at which you speak with the least strain and with the very best Pitch resonance Melody In speech, a melody refers to the variations in pitch that help give expression to a person’s voice Monotone A melody pattern that consists of only one tone Range Is the spread between the lowest and the highest notes you can speak comfortably Inflection Variety in vocal pitch; modulation Volume The strength, force, loudness or intensity with which sound is made Rate Is the speed at which you talk Quality The tone of your voice; it is what makes your voice recognizable to others; tones can be nasal, breathy, harsh, hoarse Nasality A tone characterized by too much nasal resonance of all vocal sounds Breathiness A tone resulting in too much unvoiced air escaping through the vocal folds as a person is speaking Harshness A tone characterized by an unpleasant, grating sound that may also be hard or metallic, caused by tension in the larynx area Hoarseness A tone characterized by a thickness of sound or a muffled or rasping sound, usually brought on by excessive tension in the larynx area Message Ideas and feelings that make up the content of the communication Sender Person who sends a verbal and/or nonverbal message Receiver Person who receives a verbal and/or nonverbal message Feedback Return message that is either verbal and/or nonverbal Verbal In communication this refers to words Nonverbal In communication this refers to gestures, facial expressions, even laughter, clapping, hissing, whistling, etc. Resonance Referring to sound, it is the reinforcement produced by vibration. Resonators In the human body are bones in the chest , neck and head as well as the cavities of the throat, nose and mouth Articulators In the human body are the lips, the teeth, the tongue, and the hard and soft palates Vocalization Is affected by four aspects: pitch, volume, rate and quality (or how you sound) Anatomical Terms Involving Vocal Performance Cavity A partially enclosed area Nasal cavity The nose Soft palate In the back of the mouth, it is connected to the hard palate and it is where the nasal cavity and oral cavity merge Hard palate Roof of mouth Tongue Articulator, large muscle inside the mouth Lips Articulators at the opening of the mouth Teeth Articulators in the mouth Oral cavity The mouth Pharynx Where the nasal and oral cavities meet Pharyngeal cavity The throat Epiglottis Flap that prevents food from going down trachea Esophagus Passage for food to go to stomach Vocal folds (vocal Muscles that make up the larynx, they are the primary generators cords) of sound Larynx (voice box) In the throat, this houses the vocal folds Trachea (wind pipe) In the throat, this is connected to the voice box and allows air to pass into the lungs Pharyngeal cavity The throat Lung Organ that receives air, transferring the oxygen into the blood stream and expelling carbon dioxide Diaphragm A dome-shaped muscle at the base of the lungs Inhalation The taking in of air into the lungs Exhalation The forcing of air out of the lungs Respiration Cycle The respiration cycle is how we breath. When the diaphragm contracts, air is drawn through the mouth and nose, down the throat and into the lungs. When the diaphragm relaxes, air in the lungs is pushed back up through the throat (the trachea and larynx) and out the mouth or nose Vowel Sounds Are formed when the oral cavity and the shape of its opening change in size Consonant Sounds Are formed in three ways: by moving the tongue to various parts of the mouth; by pointing, arching, or flattening the tongue; and by moving and shaping the lips Scenic Elements Batten Horizontal pipe suspended over the stage from which scenery, lights and curtains are hung Backdrop Pieces of scenery that are hung on a batten and often ―fly‖ in and out; often painted curtains, without fullness, but can also be full wall units with doors and/or windows. Borders Curtains or cutouts suspended at intervals behind the proscenium arch to mask the overhead rigging. Cyclorama (cyc) White or blue tautly stretched canvas drop or plaster dome across the back wall of the stage that, when lit, simulates the sky Drapery Hangings of cloth arranged in folds, especially when hung as curtains Drop Large piece of canvas, usually painted with a scene and serving as a background to the action Scrim Scenery fabric that becomes transparent when lit from behind, opaque when lit from the front; used for transformations, misty effects, etc. Teasers (borders) Curtain hanging above and across the stage just upstage of the house curtain and downstage of the tormentors, used to mask the flies and adjust the height of the stage opening. Tormentors (legs) Curtains or flats placed on either side of the stage just upstage of the curtain line. Legs serve to mask the wings from the view of the audience and vary the width of the playing area. Traveler Curtain that covers the width of the stage and can be opened Flat Vertical set piece that is often used as an interior or exterior wall of a building in a stage setting Platform Horizontal set piece that is used to create levels that can be acted upon Special effects Technical effect—usually spectacular found in a play, television program, or film. Can vary from the relatively simple gunshot to a vast flood or thermonuclear war. The more elaborate special effects may be beyond the capacity of most theater technicians: in this case, a specialist—a special effects artist—may be employed. Scenery Pieces such as drops, flats or platforms used to create a play’s setting Unit Set An arrangement of scenery in which some or all of the pieces can be used in different combinations for different scenes Multiple setting More than one setting on the stage at the same time Deck Stage floor Décor The ―look‖ of the play Detail scenery Small, easily changed pieces of scenery in a larger formal setting (for example, a desk is brought in to suggest a study and a table is brought in to suggest a dining room, but the background does not change for either scene) Mixed-media performance A show that mixes live entertainment with recorded or multimedia performances such as slides, video, clips from films, performance recorded music Revolve A revolving stage. Basic Design Terminology Elevation A flat scale drawing of the front, rear, or side of a set or set piece, as distinguished from a ground plan. Floor plan or Top view of a set showing the setting arrangement ground plan Perspective Method used to create the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface; perspective is created by overlapping, size variations, placement, detail, color and converging lines. Rendering Designer’s finished drawings or paintings intended to show how the item(s) will look when completed. Working drawing Designer’s floor plans and elevations intended to be used to guide construction. Abstract A type of art derived from realism but deviating in appearance, leaving only the basic essentials such as shapes, lines, colors, and textures relating to the actual objects Asymmetrical A type of visual balance in which the two sides of a composition are different yet still considered to be balanced Background The part of the picture plane that appears to be farthest from the viewer Balance A principle of design that deals with the appearance of stability or the equalization of elements in a work of art. An artwork that is balanced seems to have equal visual weight or interest in all areas. The two types of balance are symmetrical and asymmetrical. Chiaroscuro An Italian word for light and shadow, it is a manner of creating light and shade in drawing and painting, giving the illusion of three- dimensional form in two-dimensional space Composition The combining of distinct parts or elements to form whole Contour The outline of a figure, body, or mass; also a line that represents such an outline Craftsmanship Skill in the production of art Focal Point The part of the artwork that attracts the viewer Foreground The parts of an artwork that appear closest to the viewer Form A shape having three dimensions: height, width and depth Horizon line A generally horizontal line, either real or implied, in a work of art that depicts where the earth and the sky appear to meet. Linear perspective A technique of creating the illusion of space on a two-dimensional surface using vanishing points and lines Medium Material used for making a work of art such as pencil, paint, wood, ink, etc. Middle ground The part of an artwork that appears between the foreground and the background Mood A state of mind or feeling reflected in a work of art Movement The arrangement of parts of a design to create a sense of motion causing the viewer’s eye to move from one point of emphasis to the next Negative The empty space surrounding shapes or solid forms in a work of art space/shape Pattern Lines, colors, or shapes arranged or repeated in a planned sequence. A pattern is also a model or guide for making identical replicas of an original form Picture plane The flat, two-dimensional surface of a drawing or painting. The three chief planes of a drawing or painting are the background, foreground and middle ground Plane A flat two-dimensional surface Positive The objects in a work of art, not the background or the space space/shape around them. Proportion The relationship of the size or placement or one part of an art work to another part or to the whole. In painting and sculpture for example, an artist tries to show the right relationship or proportion of a nose to a face or a head to a body Relief A three-dimensional form that protrudes from a flat background Representational Art where likeness of an art object is easily recognized art Rhythm A tempo, the timing, the movement created by repetition Scale The size of something measured against a standard. If a building is drawn in scale, all of its parts are equally smaller or larger than the original. Shadow The shaded areas of a drawing, picture or photograph Style Refers to the artist’s unique manner of expression. Symmetrical or The same mirror image on both sides of the artwork. Symmetry Tactile Refers to the sense of touch Three-dimensional Refers to objects that have length, width, and depth Two-dimensional Having only length and width but no depth such as a piece of paper Trompe-l’oeil French for ―fool the eye‖. A painting technique designed to make a painting appear so real you want to touch it Vanishing point In perspective drawing, one or more imaginary dots or points on the horizon where two or more parallel lines appear to meet. Volume The amount of space occupied by a three-dimensional object Wash A thin, transparent coat of paint Watercolor A transparent or opaque paint made by mixing powdered colors with water and a binding agent. This term is also used for artwork done with this type of paint. Artistic Movements Baroque a style in art and architecture developed in Europe from the early 17th to mid-18th century, emphasizing dramatic, often strained effect and typified by bold, curving forms, elaborate ornamentation, and overall balance of disparate parts. Classical Referring to the Greek and Roman eras Cubism A nonobjective school of painting and sculpture developed in Paris in the early 20th century, characterized by the reduction and fragmentation of natural forms into abstract, often geometric structures usually rendered as a set of discrete planes. Expressionism A movement in the arts during the early part of the 20th century that emphasized subjective expression of the artist's inner experiences. Fauvism An early-20th-century movement in painting begun by a group of French artists and marked by the use of bold, often distorted forms and vivid colors. Impressionism A theory or style of painting originating and developed in France during the 1870s, characterized by concentration on the immediate visual impression produced by a scene and by the use of unmixed primary colors and small strokes to simulate actual reflected light. Neoclassicism A revival of classical aesthetics and forms Pointillism A system of painting developed by French artist George Seurat in the 1800’s. A small point of pure color is placed next to a small point of another pure color to produce a third color that is created by the eye blending the first two together. Pop Art A style of painting and sculpture that developed in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, primarily in the United States. Everyday popular images were used as subject matter, e.g., advertising art, comic strips. Post- The late nineteenth century art movement begun by artists who impressionism objected to the lack of form in Impressionism. Rather than an emphasis on the effects of light, these artists explored the formal structure of art while expressing personal feelings about the image. Realism Art in which the artist attempts to achieve the actual appearance of what is seen by the eye Renaissance Meaning ―rebirth.‖ A period in European history, beginning in the fifteenth century in Italy and spreading to all of western Europe, marked by a reawakening and growth in the arts and the birth of modern science. Rococo A style of art, especially architecture and decorative art, that originated in France in the early 18th century and is marked by elaborate ornamentation, as with a profusion of scrolls, foliage, and animal forms. Romanticism Early nineteenth century painting style that featured dramatic scenes, bright colors, loose compositions, and exotic settings. It also emphasized the feelings and the personality of the artist. Surrealism The theory and practice of art that portrays the subconscious or phenomena. An art movement beginning in the 1920’s. Pictures contain conflicting images, seemingly without rational meaning: for example, a bird’s head on a human body or the human form combined with furniture. Color Wheel Terminology Sequential Order of Colors (this goes in a circle so it doesn’t matter where you start as long as the colors are next to the appropriate colors) Red-violet Warm Color, Tertiary red Warm Color, Primary red-orange Warm Color, Tertiary orange Warm Color, Secondary yellow-orange Warm Color, Tertiary yellow Warm Color, Primary yellow-green Cool Color, Tertiary green Cool Color, Secondary blue-green Cool Color, Tertiary blue Cool Color, Primary blue-violet Cool Color, Tertiary violet Cool Color, Secondary Color wheel A circular chart showing the colors of the visible spectrum Spectrum The range of colors usually considered the color circle of a wheel Color Definitions Primary colors Red, yellow and blue. Theoretically all other colors come from the combination and mixing of these colors. Secondary colors Colors obtained by mixing two primary colors together. Secondary colors are orange, green and violet (purple) Intermediate color The mixture of a primary and a secondary color or two secondary (tertiary) colors. Orange and green make citrine, green and violet make olive, violet and orange make russet Neutral color Not associated with any single hue. Black, brown, gray and white are considered neutral colors. Warm colors Related or analogous colors ranging from the reds through the (aggressive) oranges and yellows. They are called ―warm‖ because they are associated with fire or the sun Cool colors Colors in which blue is the main basic color. Blue, blue-green, (receding) green, blue-purple, and purple are cool colors. They suggest coolness and appear to recede from the viewer. Hue The name of a color Tint A tone of color that is the result of white being added to a basic hue (pink is a tint of red): COLOR + WHITE Tone The general effect produced by the combination of light and dark: COLOR + GREY Shade A dark value of a hue made by adding black to the color or its complement. Opposite of tint. COLOR + BLACK Key color Dominant color in a color scheme or mixture. Intensity The brightness or dullness of a color Value The lightness or darkness of a color Pigment Finely ground, colored powders that make paint or dye when mixed with a liquid called the vehicle. Pigments are used to make paints, inks, chalks, etc. Color Relationships or Harmonies Color scheme A planned arrangement of colors Monochromatic One color used in varied values and intensities Analogous Colors that are closely related because they contain a common hue and are found next to one another on the color wheel. Blue, blue- green, and green are examples of analogous colors. Achromatic A colorless scheme using blacks, whites and grays Complementary Two colors that are directly opposite each other on the color wheel. colors Example: Red and Green. Split Complements Choosing one color on the wheel and using the color on each side of its complement. Example: Blue, yellow-orange and red-orange. Diad Using two colors that are two colors apart on the color wheel. Example: Red and Orange. Triad Color scheme that has three colors equally spaced from each other. Example: the primary colors red, blue and yellow. Triadic would be color harmony using three colors. Tetrad A contrast of four or more colors on the color wheel Contrasting colors Colors used to emphasize and direct attention to points of interest Tonality The effect of the colors and values as arranged in a work of art Elements of Art Elements of Art The ―visual tools‖ artists use to create works of art. These include form, shape, line, texture, color, space and value. Form A shape having three dimensions: height, width and depth Shape An area defined by line or color Line The path made by a moving point. It can vary in width, direction and length Texture The roughness or smoothness of a surface (actual) or the illusion of roughness or smoothness (visual) of a surface. Color The hue, value and intensity of an object as seen by the human eye Space Elements of design referring to the area between, around, above, below or within objects. Value Refers to the lightness or darkness of a color (tint and shade) Principles of Design Principles of Design Principles or guidelines that help artists create works of art and control how viewers are likely to react to these works Balance Deals with arranging visual elements in a work of art equally. The two types of balance are symmetrical and asymmetrical Repetition/Rhythm Repeating lines, shapes, colors or patterns in a work of art Unity/Harmony The oneness or wholeness of a work of art. Where all parts work together to create unity Movement Refers to the arrangement of elements in an artwork organized in such a way to create a sense of motion Emphasis Accent, stress, or importance to a part of an artwork Variety Principles of design concerned with difference or contrast Vocabulary for Publicity Barker A spokesperson, often in costume, who stands at the entrance to a show to attract customers by a loud and flamboyant sales pitch. Barnstorming Touring small towns to perform, using anything from barns to town squares as playing areas. Bus and truck company A troupe of actors performing around the country, using a bus for actors and truck for costumes, set, etc. The troupe is usually booked for one night engagements in small towns. Comp Complementary ticket to a show. ―To comp‖ someone is to provide them with a free ticket. Claque Friends and relatives of the actors or people paid by the theater management to attend a show and respond enthusiastically so that critics and others in the audience will think the actors and the play are popular. Command performance A performance for a royal or politically powerful person at their request. Now these events are often used as fundraisers for charity. Latecomers Audience members who show up late, after the play has started. Many theaters wont allow them to enter the house until there is an appropriate pause in the performance. Matinee A theatrical performance given in the afternoon Papering the house Giving out free tickets to fill the house for a performance Playbill In the sixteenth century, a small flier given to audiences to announce some details of the production. Over time it continued to grow, containing all of the information about the show. It is now the program that is handed out at shows and posters are now put up to announce productions. Premiere The first public performance of a play. Although the play may have had workshop productions and even preview performances, the official opening night is considered the premiere. Notice (reviews) Reviews by critics; dramatic criticism Review The announcement in print or broadcast media of a production with some description of the cast, plot, and technical aspects. Although the review may offer an opinion, it is not generally considered a piece of serious criticism. However, since a favorable review can make a show a success and a negative one can finish a play, those involved in a production generally take reviews seriously. It is the practice to quote from good reviews in press releases and in paid advertisement for a play. Road company A group of actors who take a show on the road, performing short runs at a series of towns. Royalty The payment made to a playwright for permission to perform his or her play. SRO An abbreviation for ―standing room only.‖ It means that all the seats for a show are sold and only reduced-priced tickets entitling one to stand at the back of the house are left. Because of fire regulations, this is rarely practiced but the term is still used to signify a sold out house. Vocabulary for Props Properties Set furnishings including furniture, pictures, ornaments, drapes, etc. Props Short for stage properties or props Properties Manager Another name for props master, this person is in charge of all of the props Hand props Properties carried on stage by the actors during the show Breakaway Scenery or props designed to break on cue. This would be things like bottles, windows, railings, tables, chairs, etc. Thunder sheet Large piece of flexible metal that when shook sounds like thunder; used as a live sound effect Vocabulary for Scenery Floor cloth (ground cloth) Canvas used to cover acting area floor Grip Stage crew member who shifts scenery Ground row Low horizontal scenery that stands alone and is placed upstage to look like scenery in the distance Box set A set representing the walls of a room with the fourth wall open to the audience through which they view the action. Mask To cover from the audience’s view Practical When an item is truly usable, like a light switch that turns on a light or a door that actors can open rake Sloping platform. Example: raked seating would be the audience floor is slanted thus allowing for better visibility Set Scenery creating the setting of the show Set piece A unit or piece of scenery that stands by itself Shift Change scenery Wagon Rolling platform on which scenery is placed for quick changes, a great alternative when there is not a fly system available for scenery Avista The process of changing the scenery in full view of the audience Booked flats Two flats connected together and opened up, like a book, thus self-supporting Flat Basic element of scenery, usually a vertical element that creates walls Broadway Flat Wooden frame (laid flat) with canvas stretched on top of it Hollywood Flat Wooden frame (on its edge) with wood (usually luann) on top of it Platform Basic element of scenery, a horizontal element that allows actors to stand on it thus allowing for different heights in a set Jack A triangular brace used to hold up scenery Oleo The backdrop used in vaudeville performances. Also the front drop painted with advertisements. Practical or practical Scenery that actually works on stage (faucet that runs water, scenery a lamp that turns on) Spike To mark a spot on the stage (usually with tape) that is to indicate to the stage crew where to place a set piece or show an actor a place to go. Set(ing) The surroundings in which the action of a play develops. Also the units of scenery that combine to suggest a particular place. Sight lines Imaginary lines from the audience to the stage. If an actor is in the sight lines he/she is visible to the audience. Vocabulary for Makeup Cake Makeup Dry or powder makeup that requires water to activate it Liquid Makeup Makeup already in a liquid state for application Cream Makeup Thick makeup that goes on heavier than liquid Greasepaint Traditional theatrical makeup now mostly used on clowns, mimes, Kabuki style makeup, often very greasy in texture Base or foundation Gives the basic color used before the rest of the stage makeup, often suggests race, physical condition, age, environment. Liners or shading colors Gives a three-dimensional effect by providing shadows and highlights; light colors make things seem larger and dark colors make things recede or seem smaller. Rouge Suggests age or physical condition, red on the cheeks for Santa’s rosy cheeks Eye Shadow Makeup used to accentuate eyes Powder Sets the makeup so that it won’t smudge Eyebrow pencil Used for darkening eyebrows, it can also be used to draw lines on the face Mascara Accents eyelashes Powder Puff / Powder Brush Used to apply powder Lining Brush Used to apply crème makeup Stippling sponge Sponge used to create texture Cold cream Makeup remover Crepe hair Material used for making beards and mustaches Liquid Latex Product that once it comes into contact with air will quickly dry into a rubbery skin. It is used for special effects applications. Spirit gum Sticky substance used to attach prosthetics to the body Spirit gum remover Used to get spirit gum off of the body Putty Used to make three-dimensional changes to the actor Morticians Wax Used to hide items like tattoos, special makeup has now been made for this purpose Liquid shoe polish Used for coloring the hair Straight makeup Basic makeup for a person who already looks the part Character makeup Used when an actor must change appearance to look old, sick, dead, fatter, thinner, injured, alien, etc. Makeup Morgue Collection of inspirational pictures of faces, ages, diseases, makeup, colors, etc. Vocabulary for Sound Boom A pole used to extend a microphone further onto the set Feedback Noises off Any sound effects needed for a dramatic production, often referring to the sound effects, or noises, being made from offstage. Vocabulary for Lighting Light board Electronic device that controls the lighting for a theater Ellipsoidal or Leko Spotlight with an ellipsoidal reflector; Leko was a brand name Source 4 Brand name for lights Fresnel Spotlight with a step-lens that throws an efficient soft beam Barndoors Lighting accessory for Fresnels that house moveable flippers to control the light beam Top Hat Fresnel spotlight accessory that limits the beam to a circular pattern Intelligent lighting Lights that can have movement, patterns, gels, intensity, etc. controlled by a light board Scoop A floodlight with an ellipsoidal reflector that throws a wide beam of light to fill a large area Gel (gelatin) Transparent colored medium used in front of stage lights Gobo A template of thin metal inserted into a lighting instrument to create a shadow/light pattern Fade in Gradually bring up lights Fade out Gradually take out lights Dimmer An electronic device to control intensity of lights Cable Electric cord Blackout All stage lights go off simultaneously Focus To center the light beam on Houselights Auditorium lights used before and after a play as well as at intermission Spill Light leakage from a lighting instrument Spotlight Lights with beams that can be focused and that are used for specific illumination. Work lights Non-gelled lights used solely for rehearsal. Arch light A lighting instrument that uses an electrical current arching between two carbon rods, creating a bright light. Bloom Reflection from a mirror or other polished surface on stage Boom Vertical pipe used to mount lighting equipment Bounce The reflection of light off the floor or walls of the set Bumper Metal hoop on a lighting batten to help prevent it from running into scenery Bump or bump up To quickly raise the intensity of stage lighting Cross fade Blending one light cue into another Curtain warmer Lighting cue used to light up the curtain before a show starts, it is often used for mood lighting even if there isn’t a curtain that is to open at the start of the show Wash A soft, single-color light that bathes the set. Key light Light that comes in to light an actor, it is the main lighting for that scene and it is generally light that comes in as if from an actual light source Fill light Light that comes in opposite of the key light to help provide, color and definition Focus To adjust the size and shape of the beam of light Lamp The proper name for a light bulb, also a name for any lighting instrument Lighting plot The lighting designer’s graphic rendering of the arrangement of lights and their connections for a show Pin spot A very narrow spotlight beam, focused on an actor’s head. Primary colors In lighting, they are red, blue and green. Special An arrangement of stage lighting to define or emphasize a specific position on stage. Theater History Vocabulary: Greece Ritual repetition, traditional, religious Dionysus Greek god of wine, fertility and theater Autonomous theater unique and self-guiding dramatic art Drama Greek word meaning to do or to act Tragedy Tragos or tragoidia is Greek for ―goat song‖ and is where we get the word tragedy Dithyramb a song (possibly even an improvised story) sung by a choral leader and a traditional refrain sung by a chorus Theatron Greek word meaning seeing place, it is where the audience sat to see the show. It was often hollowed out of a mountainside foe better acoustics. Comedy from the Greek word komos meaning a band of revelers Cothurnus thick soled shoes to make actor taller Onkus high headpiece made actor taller, recognizable Chitons Basically a tunic worn by Greek actors as a costume, they were belted below the breast and were sleeveless. Himation long mantle was draped around the right shoulder, over the chiton Chlamys short cloak which could be quite colorful and elaborately embroidered. Pinakes scenery that was painted on boards and placed against the skene. Periaktois triangular prisms that revolved for scenery changes Eccyclema a small platform wheeled out would show a corpse (all killing would be held off stage and reported to the audience by the chorus or messenger) Deus-ex-machina Greek for machine of the gods; An ancient term meaning a machine to raise and lower a god from the heavens to resolve a problem; modern application refers to any unexpected resolution to a problem orchestra The acting area, it was a circular space which would vary from 65-85 feet in diameter skene Actors changed costume in the small building first situated at the side of the orchestra and later permanently placed behind it. The skene, from which we derive the word scene, had three doors in its façade through which the actors would enter. proskenion Placed at the front of the skene for the actors, two wings (called paraskenia) were placed on either side of it. This is where we get the word proscenium. paraskenia Two wings placed on either side of the proskenion parados To the right and left of the orchestra, it was a wide passageway used for the chorus entering and exiting the theater. theologeion A platform on the roof of the skene where actors playing gods or heroes make pronouncements Prologue introduction of the play Parados song sung to bring on chorus Epeisodian passages of dialogue that alternated with singing to help develop the action of the play Stasimon song by the chorus, accompanied by music as the chorus slowly danced. There were two parts, strophe and antistrophe Strophe Song sung as the chorus moves left during Stasimon Antistrophe Song sung as the chorus moved back to the right during Stasimon Exodus song took the chorus offstage and ended the play Hypokrites Greek word meaning ―actor‖ Pathos The suffering of the hero in classical tragedy and the feelings this engenders in the audience. Periaktos A three sided prism made of flats and mounted on casters so that it can revolve and show a different background on each. Theater History Vocabulary: Musical Theater Choral reading Group reading with parts assigned based on the match of content to voice, pitch, tone, and volume Musical Theater Genre that includes opera, operetta, musical comedy and musical plays Play/Musical/ Opera Overture Music played to start the show, often made up of portions of songs within the show Entr’acte Musical interlude between the acts of the play; the overture of the second act in a two act musical Leitmotiv German meaning ―leading motive‖, it is a bit of music played at the entrance of a leading character or appearance of a situation.
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