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screen projection

a picture of drawing is projected on a screen

stage management team

the practice of organizing and coordinating a theatrical production
-includes a head stage manager and one or more assistant stage managers


something mounted on wheels or casters by means of which scenery is moved on and off stage

thumbnail sketches

preliminary sketches and rough plans to provide a basis for furthur discussions about the scenic elements


small scale and three-dimensional-made by the designer that the director uses to help stage the show

aesthetic distance

physical or psychological separation or detachment of audience from dramatic action, usually considered necessary for artistic illusion (fictionalized story of what happened, pull out only some truth)

basic elements of design

1- scenery
2- costume
3- lighting
4- sound


the distribution of the visual weight of objects, colors, texture and space
-symmetrical: elements used on one side of the design are similar to those on the other side
-asymmetrical: the sides are different but are still together


created when one or more elements of design are used repeatedly to create a feeling of organized movement


special type of scenery, a gauze or cloth screen (towards the front or apron of stage)

run through

rehearsal in which the cast goes through the entire text of the play in the order that it will be performed

technical rehearsal

rehearsal at which all the design and technical elements are brought together

dress rehearsal

rehearsal in which a play is performed as it will be for the public, including all the scenery, costumes, and technical effects

lighting designer

knows which elements or qualities of light will achieve the objectives of lighting design


template in a theater lighting instrument that determines the shape and arrangement of the beam or pool of light thrown by the instrument
-Ex: pattern could result in stripes, leaves on trees, the outline of a windowpane, or the like

show boat

traveled along the waterways performing theater

Golden rule of Design

all designs are purposeful, even when not intended to look so

cross fade

one set of lights comes down while another comes up


total darkening of the stage

objectives of lighting design

1- provide visibility
2- help establish time and place
3- help create mood
4- reinforce the style of the production
5- provide focus onstage and create visual composition
6- establish rhythm and visual movement

objectives of costume design

1- help establish the tone and style of a production
2- indicate the historical period of a play and the locale in which it is set
3- indicate the nature of individual characters or groups in a play: their stations in life, their occupations, their personalities
4- show relationships among characters: separate major characters from minor ones, contrast one group with another
5- meet the needs of individual performers: make it possible for an actor to move freely in a costume; allow performer to dance or engage in a sword fight; allow performers to change quickly from one costume to another
6- be consistent with a production as a whole, esp with other visual elements

pacing (directing term)

how the play moves along, how fast or slow it is moving

light or sound cue

any prearranged signal, such as the last words in a speech, a piece of business, or any action or lighting change, that indicates to a performer or stage manager that it is time to preoceed to the next line of action

job of a director

responsible for overall unity of a production and for coordinating the work of contributing artists

the American director

the equivalent of the British producer and the French metteur-en-scene

stage pictures

visual composition, how an entire scene onstage will appear to the audience

casting a play

assigning roles to performers in a production; usually done by director

turn table/revolve

a circle, set into the floor, which is rotated mechanically or electronically to bring one set into view as another disappears

ground plan

a floor plan outlining the various levels on the stage and indicating the placement of all scenery, furniture, doors, windows, etc


literary manager or dramatic advisor for a theater company

set dressing

all decorative items on stage used to enhance the effect of the scene (not usually touched or used by actors)

preview performance

the play is performed for the first time before audiences; dress rehearsals for invited audiences

stage manager

person who coordinates all the rehearsals and the actual running of a performance

environmental sounds

noises from everyday life that provide background sound in a production

table work

rehearsal time, the first two weeks of productions preliminary works; sit at a table and discuss theme, social importance, etc.

set designer

responsible for stage set, which can run the gamut from a bare stage furnished only with stools and orange crates to the most elaborate large-scale production


stage farthest from audience


stage nearest the audience

stage right

performer's right side of stage, audience's left

stage left

performer's left side of stage, audience's right

costume designer

responsible for selecting, and in many cases creating, the outfits and accessories worn by performers

elements of scene design

1- line
2- mass
3- composition
4- texture
5- color


outline of silhouette of elements on stage


overall bulk or weight of scenic elements


balance or arrangement of elements


the "feel" projected by surfaces and fabrics


shadings and contrasts of color combinations


an attempt to present onstage people and events corresponding to those in everyday life

light plot

detailed outline or diagram showing where each lighting instrument is placed in relationship to the stage

area lights (floodlights)

lighting instrument used for large or general area lighting

strip (border) light

these lights bathe in a section of the stage or scenery in a smooth, diffused wash of light
-shines upwards


aiming light on a particular area of the stage

follow spot light

large, powerful spotlight with a sharp focus and narrow beam that is used to follow principle performers as they move about the stage


how lighted areas are arranged onstage relative to each other


brightness; controlled by a dimmer


device for changing lighting intensity smoothly and at varying rates

gel/color filters

used to alter color; short for gelatin - the cellophane of which it was originally mae

top down lighting

lighting that comes from directly overhead

soft flat

backdrop or background made of canvas

hard flat (movie/hollywood flat)

consists of a thin, solid material, called lauan, mountain on a wooden or hollow metal frame; tend to act as real walls

properties (props)

objects that are used by performers on stage or are necessary to complete a set


part of the first element of costume design
-lines can be straight or jagged
-elements exaggerated

technical director

person who oversees all technical aspects of a theater production, especially the building, painting and installation of scenery and related elements

design components

1- line
2- shape
3- movement
4- light
5- color


relative size or proportion used to determine measurements or dimensions within a design


a harmonious state of things in general and of their properties (as of colors and sounds)


rather than moving in linear fashion, the action alternates between different kinds of elements


a predictable combination in repitition

proscenium arch

arch or frame surrounding the stage opening in a box or picture stage

fourth wall

pretense that in a proscenium arch theater the audience is looking into a room through an invisible wall

theater convention

the agreement between the actor and the audience, that if what the actor is doing is believable, the audience will believe it

playing the x

going from corner to corner of the stage (mostly for thrust stages) so the entire audience can see you (entrance to entrance, pathway makes an X)

flexible staging

area where you can move stage or seating, for different design of the stage


the more complex sketch, usually in color, the designer makes after the director and designer have decided on an idea and a rough design

Broadway Theater

-refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theaters with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway
-represents the highest level of commercial theater in the English speaking world

Off-Broadway theater

-theaters smaller than Broadway theaters (most had fewer than 200 seats)
-less expensive than Broadway, offered more opportunity for producing serious classics and experimental works
-soon became expensive and institutionalized

Off-Off Broadway theater

-result of Off-Broadway's development, small independent producing groups had to develop another forum
-shows produced wherever inexpensive space is available (churches, lofts, warehouses, garages)
-characterized by low prices and a wide variety of offerings

Cyclorama (Cyc/Sike)

toward the back (upstage), no seams in either, one large expensive piece of cloth

alley stage

tennis court theater; audience sits on 2 opposing sides of the stage

Ethel Waters

first female performer to be on Broadway, very successful, made 12,000 dollars a week
-singer of the song "Supper Time"

Bert Williams

first African American performer to earn his entire living off performing
-first to appear in Broadway show as a star opposite white entertainers
-famous for song, "Nobody"

strip light

light that shines upwards


first musical that was groundbreaking, used both music and dancing, first time choreographer used both to move the plot along

black box stage

one with a simple, unadorned design that makes it an extremely flexible space


light reflected off objects
-hue (name)
-value (how light/dark)
-intensity (how bright/dull)


a closed line, flat but can express length and width


the path the viewer's eye takes through the artwork

designer's model

scale model of the scenery, renderings, paint elevations and scale construction drawings

Ziegfeld's objective as a director

created an American formula of entertainment that featured:
-songs, dancers, comedy routines, novelty acts
-glorified the American Girl (beauty above all else)


a series of variety acts - music, sketches, juggling, animal acts
-short, often comedic
-major decline after the talkies became popular

minstrel shows

variety shows that featured white performers wearing blackface, and caricaturing African Americans

Fanny Brice

associated with Ziegfeld, headlined in Ziegfeld Follies
-featured singing "My Man" - became her big hit and signature song
-famous for performance of Jewish characters with Yiddish accents (Berlin's song on his fiddle)
-prat falls and raucousness

screen projection

a picture or drawing is projected on a screen either from in front (as in an ordinary movie theater) or from behind

motivated sounds

sounds called for in the script come from recognizable sources

Gillbert and Sullivan

british composers lyricists whose popularity was in American
-songs mostly soliloquies (monologue like talking to yourself, don't move the dramatic action forward)
-first American production at Boston Theater, first Broadway production at Standard Theater
-HMS Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance, Milkado


come up with music


come up with words

Ziegfeld Follies

series of elaborate theatrical productions on Broadway, later became a radio program


a romantic musical piece featuring melodic solos, duets, and choruses interspersed with spoken dialogue

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