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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


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)


to make a costume or other item look old

ambient light

existing surrounding light that may interfere with the projected image


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


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


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


the clear and precise pronunciation of words


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


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


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


the area of a theatre where the audience sits


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the script for a musical


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


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


the principal theatre district in New York City


to make a costume or set piece


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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