Theatre I A-B

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accent

the specific sound qualities of the speech of a region

act curtain

a curtain made of lighter fabric used between scenes of a play, often decorated to reflect the mood or theme of the play

act

the major division of a play

acting areas

spaces onstage defined by the blocking patterns of actors in a scene

ad lib

see improvise (to speak or act without script)

age

to make a costume or other item look old

ambient light

existing surrounding light that may interfere with the projected image

amplifier

an electronic device that provides a power supply to speakers and other audio equipment

antagonist

a person, situation, or the protagonist's own inner conflict that is in opposition to the protagonist's goals

apron

the acting area of the stage that extends beyond the proscenium arch

arena stage

a performance space in which the audience sits all around the stage; sometimes called in-the-round

articulation

the clear and precise pronunciation of words

articulators

the parts of the body that create consonant sounds

artistic director

the person who hires the director, designer, and cast. In some theatre companies, these duties are handled by a production committee

aside

a statement by an actor spoken half to him/herself and half to the audience

assistant director

the person who assists the director by organizing the rehearsal process, coordinating rehearsal schedules, working with individual actors, and taking the director's notes

audition

an interview-like opportunity in which actors are able to demonstrate their talents, meet the person hiring the cast, and leave impressions of themselves

auditorium

the area of a theatre where the audience sits

auditors

the individuals who conduct the auditions, usually the director and assistant director

back wall

a wall separating the stage house from the backstage area. Doors in the back wall allow large pieces of scenery to be brought onstage

backing

flats, draperies, or drops-placed on the off stage side of openings in the set such as windows and doors, to block the backstage area from the audiences view

backlot

an outdoor soundstage at a film picture studio in which open-air scenes can be constructed and filmed

backstage

all areas of a stage other than the acting area that are out of sight in the audience

backstitch

a sewing stitch formed by taking one forward stitch and then beginning a short stitch from the back of it

balcony

upper floor in an auditorium that projects out over the main floor and provides additional seating for the audience

ballad opera

a burlesque form of Italian opera, originating in England in the 1700s, that combined spoken dialogue and songs set to popular music

barn door

an accessory for a Fresnel spotlight that controls the light beam with movable flippers

base coat

a preliminary coat of paint upon which effects are painted

basting

a sewing stitch made by long, widely spread running stitches, used for temporary holding hems and seams.

batter

a wood or metal pipe from which stage lights, drops, and scenery are hung

beat

a smaller section of a scene, divided where a shift in emotion or topic occurs

bevel cut

See miter cut (a basic saw cut in which the wood is cut at an angle)

blank verse

unrhymed poetry in which each line has five accented syllables; the verse pattern in which Shakespeare wrote most of his plays

blending

to diminish the intensity of a makeup color from strongest to lightest

blocking

coordination of actors' movements onstage

blocking rehearsals

a phase of rehearsals in which the director and actor work through blocking

blood pack

for use with stage blood, a sealed plastic bag that is taped to the part of an actor's body that will bleed

book

the script for a musical

boom/boomerang

an aluminum tripod with a cross bar at the top of which lights are hung; also called lighting tree

box office

where ticket sales are handled, usually located in the lobby of a theatre

box set

a feature of the realistic theatre, a two- or three- walled set representing the interior of a room

brace

to anchor scenery to the stage so it doesn't wobble

Broadway

the principal theatre district in New York City

build

to make a costume or set piece

Bunraku

traditional Japanese puppet theatre

business manager

the person who handles fundraising, publicity, programs, ticket sales, bill payments, and other business details of running a theatre

butt joint

a wood joint in which two square cut boards are joined end-to-face, end-to-edge, edge-to-edge, or end-to-end, and fastened with nails or glue or screws

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