42 terms

UIL Literary Criticism - Stage Terms

Literary terms from the literary terms handbook.
STUDY
PLAY
Stage
The physical area, normally a raised platform - on which theatrical performances take place.
Cabaret
an establishment, such as a restaurant or night club, with entertainment for customers seated at tables; also the entertainment itself, ordinarily singing, dancing, and comedy routines.
Revue
a light, plotless musical entertainment consisting of a variety of songs, dances, choruses, and skits. Satiric comment on contemporary affairs is a characteristic element as is spectacular display in scenery and costume.
Slam
a mode of informal public performance and competition by poets first introduced in Chicago around 1990.
Bill
the items making up a theatrical program; also the list of such items.
Double Bill
two plays or other works staged on a single program.
Program
the schedule of a single planned entertainment; also the printed pamphlet thereof.
Program Notes
material included in a program, such as information abuot words being performed and summaries of the careers of the performers.
Stage Directions
Material that an author, editor, prompter, performer, or other person adds to a text to indicate movement, attitude, manner, style, or quality of a speech, character, or action.
Upstaging
a stage movement in which one performer moves upstage of another (that is, to the rear of the stage), forcing the latter to turn away from the audience.
Ambo
a stage direction meaning both.
Proscenium
That part of the stage in a modern theater that lies between the orchestra and the curtain. The term is sometimes used merely as a synonym for the stage itself.
Fourth Wall
the invisible wall of a room through which the audience conventionally witness what occurs on a stage imagined as a room.
Box Set
a stage set that realistically represents a room with three walls, the fourth wall being imagined on the side towards the audience.
Apron Stage
the portion of a stage that extends in front of the proscenium arch. If all or most of the stage is in front of any devices that could give it a frame, the stage is called this.
Arena Stage
A stage on which the actors, surrounded by the audience, make exits and entrances through the aisles.
Set
The physical equipment of a stage, including furniture, properties, lighting, and backdrops.
Mise en Scene
The stage setting of a play, including scenery, properties, and the general arrangement of the piece.
Curtain
the heavy material that screens the stage from the audience and by being raised or opened and lowered or closed marks the beginning and end of an act or scene.
Strong Curtain
a powerful conclusion to an act or play.
Curtain Line
the last line before a curtain falls, usually dramatic.
Curtain Call
an act of homage by an audience who, by sustained applause, call for performers to reappear on stage one or more times after the curtain has fallen.
Dresser
a theater worker whose job includes taking care of costumes and helping performers with changes of clothing and makeup.
Cue
a signal - such as a word or sound effect - that it is time for something else to happen.
Promptbook
a copy of a script adapted for use by a prompter, often with special marking for cues and trouble spots noted during rehearsals.
Prompter
one whose job is to assist players by staying just offstage at a desk in the wings or a prompter's box at the front of the stage to give words or lines to actors suffering lapses in memory.
Prompt Side
the side of a stage at which the prompter is stationed, stage left in Britain, stage right in the US.
P.S.
abbreviation for prompt side.
Laugh Track
a recording of audience laughter, used in a live performance or with another recording.
Claque
mercenary persons employed to applaud a work or performance.
Improvisation
a work or performance done on the spur of the moment without conscious preparation of preliminary drafts or rehearsals.
Act
a major division of a drama. Major parts of Greek plays were distinguished by the appearance of the chorus, usually in five parts divided as follows: exposition, complication, climax, falling action, and catastrophe.
Scene
the division of an act into segments.
Catastasis
the heightening; the third of the four parts into which the ancients divided a play. In rhetoric it is the narrative part of the introduction of a speech.
Anticlimax
an arrangement of details such that the lesser appears at the point where something greater is expected.
Obligatory Scene
an episode of which the circumstances are so strongly foreseen that the writer is obliged to deliver the scene.
Dramatic Conventions
devices that are employed as substitutions for reality in the drama and that the audience accepts as real although it knows them to be false.
Spectacle
a display that is large, lavish, unusual, and striking, usually employed as much for its own effect as for its role in a work.
Deus Ex Machina
literally, "god from the machine." The employment of some unexpected and improbable incident to make things turn out right. In ancient Greek theater, when gods appeared, they were lowered from the "machine" or structure above the stage to extricate characters from a situation so perplexing that the solution seemed beyond mortal powers.
Coup de Theatre
a surprising and usually unmotivated stroke in a drama that produces a sensational effect; by extension, any piece of claptrap or anything designed solely for effect.
Tableau
an interlude in which the actors freeze in position and then resume action as before or hold their positions until the curtain falls.
Alienation Effect
same as the German Verfremdungseffekt, put forward by Bertolt Brecht as a desirable quality of theater, by means of which the audience is kept at such a distance that unthinking emotional and ersonal involvement is inhibited while political messages are delivered.
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