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Arts and Humanities
GCSE Drama: Performance Glossary
Terms in this set (43)
A particular manner or acting which reflects cultural and historical influences.
The opponent or adversary of a hero or main character or a drama; one who opposes and actively competes with another character in the play, most often with the protagonist.
The clarity or distinction of speech.
Lines spoken by a performer to the audience and not supposed to be overheard by other characters onstage.
The path formed by the performer's movement on stage, usually determined by the director with assistance from the performer and often written down in a script using commonly accepted theatrical symbols.
A piece of unscripted or improvised action, often comic in intention, used to establish a character, fill a pause in dialogue, or to establish a scene. An author may simply suggest 'business' to indicate the need for some action at that point in the play.
How a performer uses body, voice, and thought to develop and portray a character.
The movement of performance and dancers to music in a play.
A group of performers who sing, dance, or recite in unison; in Greek drama, the chorus was the group of performers who sang and danced between episodes, narrated off-stage action, and commented on events.
The performer's focus, also called entering; focusing on the work at hand, being in character, or being in the moment.
Spoken conversation used by two or more characters to express thoughts, feelings, and actions.
In acting, the act of concentrating or staying in character.
Any movement of the performer's head, shoulder, arm, hand, leg, or foot to convey meaning.
The spontaneous use of movement and speech to create a character or object in a particular situation; acting done without a script.
Change in pitch or loudness of the voice.
The action or relationship among two or more characters.
Control of isolated body parts; the ability to control or move one part of the body independently of the rest.
In drama, the particular manner of verbal expression, the diction or style of writing, or the speech or phrasing that suggests a class or profession or type of character.
A peculiarity of speech or behaviour.
Acting without words.
Copying the movement and/or expression or look of someone else exactly.
A long speech made by one performer; a monologue may be delivered alone or in the presence of others.
The reason or reasons for a character's behaviour; an incentive or inducement for further action for a character.
Stage blocking or the movements of the performers onstage during performance; also refers to the action of the play as it moves from event to event.
Rate of movement or speed of action.
The particular level of a voice, instrument or tune.
Physical alignment of a performer's body or a physical stance taken by a performer which conveys information about the character being played.
How well the voice carries to the audience.
Contemporary term for 'spatial relationships', referring to spatial signifiers of the relationship between different performers or a performer and elements of the set which convey information about character and circumstances.
Measured flow of words or phrases in verse forming pattern of sound. Regularity in time or space of an action, process of feature.
The character portrayed by a performer in a drama.
Improvising movement and dialogue to put oneself in another's place in a particular situation, often to examine the person and/or situation being improvised.
A speech in which a performer, usually alone on stage, speaks the inner thoughts of his/her character aloud.
Traditional term for what is currently referred to as 'proxemics', referring to spacial signifiers of the relationship and plot and to create interesting stage pictures in relation to set which convey information about character and circumstances.
The level of comfort, commitment, and energy a performer appears to have on stage.
Another term for blocking; deliberately choices about where the performers stand and how they move on stage to communicate character relationships and plot and to create interesting stage pictures in relation to set, properties and audience and effects created by lighting, for example.
Characters who represent particular personality types or characteristics of human behaviour. Stock characters are immediately recognisable and appear throughout the history of theatre, beginning with Greek and Roman comedy.
A technique in creative drama in which performers create a frozen picture, as if the action were paused. Not to be confused with freeze frame, which is a term used in film and video production.
The distinctive character or quality of a musical or vocal sound apart from its pitch or intensity such as in a nasal voice quality.
To deliberately draw the audience's attention away from another performer or performers by overacting, using flashy bits of business, or other means; term originated from a performer purposefully positioning himself upstage of the other performers so that they must turn their backs on the audience to deliver their lines to him.
How a performer uses his or her voice to convey character.
Directing the voice out of the body to be heard clearly at a distance.
The combination of vocal qualities a performer uses such as articulation, phrasing, and pronunciation.
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