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50 Cards in this Set

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Fourth Wall
An imaginary surface at the edge of the stage through with the audience watches a performance.
Gallery
The highest section of the theatre; a section at the back or sides without seats where people can stand to watch a performance, usually raised.
Distanciation
Distanciation: In Brechtian performance, when actors maintain distance from their character by reminding the audience through often stylized gestures or behavior that they are simply people pretending, instead of trying to identify with their "character".
Manet
A stage direction calling for a person (or more than one person) to remain on stage as others exit, corresponding to the Latin manent, meaning "they remain."
Social Actor
People who portray themselves in a performance, usually previously known to the audience.
Death Role
A character who dies.
Dramatist
The author of a play.
Emotional Memory
In Method acting, when an actor attempts to draw upon memories of prior emotions to match the emotions of their character.
Ghost Light
A light left on the stage overnight and/or when the stage is not in use for safety.
Intention
A single, temporary desire or goal that arises in a character within a scene. (Also called "Objective".)
Issue
To leave the stage.
Masking
Drapery or flats used to frame the stage, and stop the audience from seeing the backstage areas.
Obstacle
A force opposing a character's "Objective" (or "Intention") which gives rise to dramatic tension and conflict.
Parascenium
in a Greek theatre, the wall on either side of the stage, reaching from the back wall to the orchestra.
Omnes
In stage directions, all the cast.
Parterre
The upper part of the main seating. Usually behind a cross aisle, and almost always steeper than the lower Orchestra.
Promenade
A performance of a play in which the actors and audience occupy the same space, with no distinction between acting area and audience area. The audience is given the freedom to explore the space together with the performance, and there is generally an element of audience interaction in the play.
Prompt
To tell an actor his next line when he as forgotten it. Also the person whose job it is to do this (also called the prompter). It used to mean the side of the stage where the prompter sat. The other side of the stage was called 'Opposite Prompt' or OP.
Proscenium
The boundary between the stage and the audience in a conventional theatre; it appears to form an arch over the stage from the audience's point of view. In some cases, it does create an arch over the stage.
Pseudomonologue
character; the hero or heroine.
Pseudomonologue: When only one half of a dialogue is portrayed, especially either just the questions or the answers, wherein the performer is not directly addressing the audience.
Sense Memory
In Method acting, when an actor attempts to recall memories of the physical sensations surrounding prior emotions in order to utilize emotional memory.
Signs of Character
The various cues that convey a character's personality, emotion or motivation.
Signs of performance
An actor's movements, expressions and vocal tones and patterns that contribute to signs of character.
Site Specific
A play which is created or specifically modified to use the character of the performance space to the greatest advantage. Site specific spaces are usually locations which are not normally used for showcasing theatre, but have another primary function (warehouse, mansion, abandoned military bunker, etc).
Supernumary
Extra, walk-on part, most often speaks no words.
Tabs
The curtains separating the stage from the audience.
Theater in the round
Any theatre where the audience is seated on every side of the stage. (See arena.)
Thrust
A stage that extends out into the audience, so that the audience is seated on three sides of it.
Apron
The part of the stage closest to the audience. The area of the theatre that is located between the curtain and the orchestra pit.
Batten
The part of the counter-weight system that holds steel weights. The weight of the arbor must match the weight of the batten. See also Fly Rail and Batten.
Bump
: The lights or sound on stage come on or go off without any delay, just like a switch. Also called a "zero count fade". See also Fade.
Call Board
The bulletin board where everyone signs in and notices are posted (also known as sign-in board)
Curtain Warmer
The lights that are focused on the curtain so that the audience has something to look at before the show starts.
Dry Tech
The first technical rehearsal, without actors (therefore, without costumes and props) so that lights, sound, and running crew can rehearse their parts. Usually held in the morning of the Saturday before opening night.
Off-book
When an actor no longer needs his or her script to deliver lines.
Paper Tech
A meeting of the Director, Stage Manager, designers and, often the crew chiefs. This is where all the light changes, sound changes, props movements, fly movements and other backstage activities that occur at specific points are precisely determined and are documented in the Stage Manager's script and by each designer and crew chief.
Plaster Line
The plaster line is the most upstage point of the proscenium opening. It is where the proscenium meets the fire curtain smoke pocket.
Proscenium
the frame through which the audience views the stage.
Speed Through
The final rehearsal without sound, lights, running crew when the cast sits around a table and says their lines as rapidly as possible (but with emotions) in order to check for line accuracy and to bring the tempo of the show up.
Spike Marks
Tape (or sometimes paint) markings on the stage that indicate where props, furniture, and sometimes actors, are to be placed.
Up Stage
The part of the stage that is furthest from the audience. It is called "up" because some theatre stages are sloped ("raked") towards the audience, so it literally is the highest point of the stage.
Wet tech
The first technical rehearsal that includes actors and all departments (except costumes). This rehearsal is more for technical crews than it is for actors, so there may be stopping and starting. Usually held in the afternoon after Dry Tech on the Saturday before opening night.
denouement
The resolution of the plot of a literary work. The denouement of Hamlet takes place after the catastrophe, with the stage littered with corpses. During the denouement Fortinbras makes an entrance and a speech, and Horatio speaks his sweet lines in praise of Hamlet.
Catharsis
The purging of the feelings of pity and fear that, according to Aristotle, occur in the audience of tragic drama. The audience experiences catharsis at the end of the play, following the catastrophe.
Catastrophe
The action at the end of a tragedy that initiates the denouement or falling action of a play. One example is the dueling scene in Act V of Hamlet in which Hamlet dies, along with Laertes, King Claudius, and Queen Gertrude.
Complication
An intensification of the conflict in a story or play. Complication builds up, accumulates, and develops the primary or central conflict in a literary work. Frank O'Connor's story "Guests of the Nation" provides a striking example, as does Ralph Ellison's "Battle Royal."
Denouement
The resolution of the plot of a literary work. The denouement of Hamlet takes place after the catastrophe, with the stage littered with corpses. During the denouement Fortinbras makes an entrance and a speech, and Horatio speaks his sweet lines in praise of Hamlet.
Dramatis personae
Latin for the characters or persons in a play. Included among the dramatis personae of Miller's Death of a Salesman are Willy Loman, the salesman, his wife Linda, and his sons Biff and Happy.
Falling Action
In the plot of a story or play, the action following the climax of the work that moves it towards its denouement or resolution. The falling action of Othello begins after Othello realizes that Iago is responsible for plotting against him by spurring him on to murder his wife, Desdemona.
Foil
A character who contrasts and parallels the main character in a play or story. Laertes, in Hamlet, is a foil for the main character; in Othello, Emilia and Bianca are foils for Desdemona.