The A to Z of Theatre

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the means of enacting a story by adopting a character.

or offstage. The areas of a theatre that are not part of the house or stage are considered backstage.

Building a Set:
set construction is the process of building full-scale scenery, as specified by the scenic designer and/or director of a production.

the process for selecting a particular actor for a role in a script.

the sequence of steps and movements in dance.

the complimentary theatrical elements with various functions, which deals with the personification of characters on stage. Costumes are worn by actors on stage in order to aid dramatic actions and interpretations.

the art of leading all creative aspects of a theatrical vision and production.

the exploration of the world of the play.

Dress Rehearsal:
the full-scale rehearsal, typically within the last week before a show opens, where actors wear their costumes during the run of a show as if it were being performed in front of a full audience.

an essential component of a well-rounded education, theatre teaches life skills through stage skills - collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Theatre:
An art form founded on the human story cannot ignore human injustice. As a cultural organization, we believe that acknowledging, embracing, and celebrating the richness of our differences is essential nutrition for our art-form and world.

Fly System:
a theatrical rigging system of rope lines, pulleys, counterweights, and related devices backstage of a production. This system allows a stage crew to hoist curtains, scenery, and even sometimes people, quickly and quietly.

Ghost Light:
a single bulb left lit whenever a theatre is dark.

Green Room:
a term used in some theaters to describe a backstage waiting area or dressing room.

House Management:
concerns the selling of tickets, the ushering of patrons in front of house areas, and the maintenance and management of the theatre building.

a stock character role - generally a girl or young woman who is endearingly innocent. The ingénue may also refer to a new young actress typecast in such roles.

a brief recess between acts of a performance.

Jazz Hands:
commonly associated with exuberant types of performance.

the use of light to shape the mood on stage.

...The Scottish Play:
A euphemism for Shakespeare's Macbeth. According to superstition, speaking the name Macbeth inside a theatre, other than as called for in the script while rehearsing or performing, is cause for disaster.

Musical Theatre:
a production combining acting, singing, and dancing to tell a story.

New Works:
as our understandings of the human experience evolve, so do our stories. New works are a fundamental part of empathetic and artistic expression.

Opening Night:
usually the first of public performances, sometimes celebrated with special invitees, outfits, and a party.

a small booklet of information about the play.

an object used on stage by actors during a performance.

a "window" that frames the play taking place on stage.

Quick Change:
a costume change that takes place in a short amount of time backstage.

performance preparation.

opportunities for theatre artists to collaborate and develop new plays, musicals, performance pieces, and hybrid works.

a rehearsal where singers sing with the orchestra, focusing attention on integrating the two groups.

Sound Design:
anything that is heard by an audience during a production.

a raised floor or platform on which actors perform.

Stage Manager:
typically provide practical and organizational support to the director, actors, designers, stage crew, and technicians throughout the production process.

Tech Week:
the week prior to the opening night of a play, musical, or similar production. The purpose of tech week is to rehearse the show with all technical elements in place.

Theatre Criticism:
a genre of arts criticism - the act of writing or speaking about a theatrical performance.

Tony Award:
recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre.

a person who learns another role in order to be able to act as a replacement in short notice.

Theatre for the Very Young:
an inventive, participatory, multi-sensory professional theatre performance for children ages 0-5 years old and their caregivers.

What to Wear:
the dress code for attending a play does not exist. Therefore, anything is game.

a covering for the head made of real or artificial hair. An important aspect of transforming the appearance of an actor.

Writing in Theatre:
typically called playwriting. Responsible for conceiving and transforming an idea into a written piece of work, ultimately to be performed.

X means cross in Stage Directions:
an instruction in the text of a play, especially one indicating the movement, position, or tone of an actor, or the sound effects and lighting.

Yes, And:
a pillar of improvisational theatre - the acceptance principle. When someone in a scene states something, accept it as truth, then build on the reality that has been set.

Youth Education Classes:
designed to help students become entranced in storytelling, build self-confidence, and grow as critical and creative thinkers. Drama classes also help youth improve academic performance, teamwork and communication skills, and social-emotional learning.

Give it some ZAZZ:
from the Alliance's production of The Prom that went on to be produced on Broadway. "When a challenge lies ahead, and you are filled with dread and worry, give it some zazz."

Zip, Zap, Zop:
one of the most famous theater warm-up games designed to teach focus and discipline, connect the group, and get positive energy flowing.

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