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20 February 2015

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Proscenium stage


Raked: Means sloped. Seating is sometimes raked, with the audience on a raised terrace. Stages are also sometimes raked.

Rostrum: A raised platform.

Run has several meanings: A 'run' at rehearsal stage, refers to a run-through of the performance, helping the director to see how the performance is working, and to get an early indication of its duration.
2. (noun) The 'run' refers to the number of performances it will give from first night to last night.
3. (verb) To run a flat is to hold it upright and move it about the stage by sliding.

Runners: A pair of curtains parting at the centre and moving horizontally. Also called travelers.


Setting Line: An imaginary line drawn across the stage downstage, often at the proscenium, which is the limit for the position of any scenery.

Scene changes: The transformation of the stage set between scenes or acts in a play, to give the effect of a change in location or time.

Stage action: The physical movement of an actor on the stage, or the movements of the cast members as a group.

Stage apron: Also known as forestage. The part of the stage floor in front of the curtain line

Stage Weight and Brace: A custom built adjustable support placed behind scenery to hold it upright. Usually held firmly in place with a stage weight.

Stage hand: A person who "sets the stage" by changing props and scenery, and performing other duties involved in keeping the physical aspects of a stage production moving.

Stage left: Toward the left side of the stage (the audience's right). From the actor's point of view when facing the audience. See image at top of page

Stage right: Toward the right side of the stage (the audience's left). See image at top of page

Stage set: All of the scenery in a scene. The stage set creates the physical setting—or sense of place—in which the action of a scene occurs.
2. (verb) To Set: Erect a scene or place an item on the set. "Set that sofa there please" or "Set scene three please".

Sight lines: The angles of visibility from the auditorium. An imaginary line taken from any angle in the auditorium to determine unobstructed vision, especially from side seats. These sight lines are used when placing wings to ensure each wing masks the next one upstage so that the audience cannot see off stage and the off stage edges of the wings are not seen. When setting the scenery for the first time it is usual for the designer to sit in the 'worst' seats in the house i.e. the two most left and right in the front row, sometimes called the 'extreme seats', and guide the SM and stage crew into the final position of the wings to ensure correct masking. Once decided, the stage floor is then marked.

SM: Stage Manager

Strike: To remove scenery, or a piece of scenery or furniture or other item from the stage. "SM please would you strike that chair" or "Props please strike that vase" or "That's Act One finished so you can strike the set".

Spill: Unwanted light onstage.

Sound Check: A thorough test of the sound system before a performance. For a live performance, each instrument is played in turn for the sound engineer to check and fine-tune the sound.

Stagger-run: Run-through, at which the production is pieced together, aiming for fluency but allowing for corrections.

Stalls: The lowest audience seating area, usually just below the level of the stage.


Tabs: Short for TABleau curtains. These part in the centre and open outwards towards off stage. These used to be called "Traverse" curtains whereas tableau curtains not only opened outwards but upwards at the same time. Now the word 'Tabs' is used to describe any stage curtains.

Tech run: Technical rehearsal at which all technical elements are rehearsed in the context of the whole production.

Thrust: Stage area which projects into the auditorium. A much enlarged version of an apron stage. A thrust stage extends well into the auditorium and the audience sits around it.

Trap: Hole cut in stage and concealed to allow access from below.

Travellers: A pair of curtains parting at the centre and moving horizontally. Also called runners. Many amateur proscenium stages have a set of travellers (often grey) half way down the stage, which can be drawn to enable the performance to continue at the front of the stage whilst the scenery is changed behind.


Upstage: Area furthest away from the audience.

Understudy: An actor employed to be a replacement in the event that the principle characters can't go on stage. The understudies will learn and rehearse their appointed role and be available to step in if required. Depending on the number of characters in a play, there will usually be one understudy per principal character.

Ushers: Ushers escort visitors from the foyers into their seats in the auditorium. They are also on hand to direct and guide audience members in case of emergencies.

Ultra Violet (UV): Also known as Black light. Ultra violet light is just outside the violet end of the visible spectrum. Ultra violet paint, when illuminated with ultra violet light, will glow.


Vanishing Point: Part of the geometric construction lines drawn to aid the showing of a three dimensional scene on a two dimension painting/drawing.


Wings: The sides of the stage concealed from the audiences view:
(A scenery description) A staggered set of Flats or legs at the side of the stage which
a) Mask the edge of the set and
b) Hide the off stage equipment and members of the cast preparing to enter.

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