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20 February 2015

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Fit-up: Installation of technical equipment and scenery to a theatre. Also called a get-in.

Flat: A tall unit of scenery, usually covered with canvas, plywood, hardboard or even cardboard.

Flies: Area above the stage in which scenery, lighting and other equipment is kept.

Floodlights: Also called floods. Lanterns which give a general fixed spread of light.

Floor cloth: Painted canvas sheet placed on the stage floor.

Flown: Scenery or equipment which has been suspended above the stage. Flown pieces are any scenic elements which will be made to appear or disappear from the view of the audience.

Fly: The process of bringing scenery and lighting equipment in and out of the stage area vertically (Peter Pan).

Fly Floor: Gallery at side of stage from which the flies are operated.

Follow spot: Light directed at an actor which can be moved by an operator to follow his/her movements.

Forestage: The part of the stage floor in front of the curtain line.

French Brace: A triangle of wood used to support scenery from the back. Often a French Brace is permanently hinged to the Flat or Groundrow so when it is moved, item and brace can be carried together as one piece.
French Brace

Front Curtain: The main curtain which separates the stage from the audience. (Traditionally only drawn at the opening/closing of a show and to mark the interval).

Front of House Manager: Person in charge of the audience and auditorium (front of house area) during a show. (Front of House is often abbreviated to FoH).

FX: Person in charge of the sound, or the effects which are produced either in lighting or sound. (i.e. a sound effect or a lighting effect).


Gel: Colour medium in front of a light to alter the colour of the beam.

Gobo: From the words "go-between". A thin sheet of professionally cut metal which is inserted in front of a projecting lamp to throw a shaped shadow, or light, onto the scene. (Can also be painted glass).

Groundrow: A long low piece of scenery usually depicting bushes, rocks, skyline etc.


Leg: Cloth suspended vertically from flies and used (as a wing) to hide the sides of the stage.


MD: Musical Director.

Mixer: Sound desk used to mix and adjust levels of sounds from various sources.


Offstage: Any backstage area not seen by the audience.

OP: "Opposite prompt" corner. A position on the stage which is down stage right.

Opening Announcement: The announcement made before the performance starts (either from behind stage, on stage, or in the hall) describing the emergency exits, switch off mobiles, length of interval etc.

Overture: The music which begins the performance.


Personal props: Props brought on and off the stage by the actors. For example, a torch or a sleeping bag.

Plot: Used to describe the action of the play.

Practical: Something which "works" on the stage, such as a door which can be opened, door handle which can be turned, light switch which can be turned on, window that opens. Anything which has a 'practical' purpose rather than an ornamental one.

PM: Production Manager.

Preset: The lighting state and set that the audience sees before the show commences.

Prompt corner: Desk and console at the side of the stage from which the Stage Manager runs the show. (Often abbreviated to PS – Prompt Side).

Proscenium Arch: (often referred to as the Pros). The arch or frame through which the audience sees the performance. See image at the top of page

Prop: (short for "property"). A moveable object on the set other than furniture, scenery or costumes.

Previews: The first public performances of a production, leading to the First Night. There are generally no more than 10 preview performances.

Programme: An illustrated publication accompanying a production, which provides the audience with background information about the cast, creative team and playwright.

Public Address (PA): A loudspeaker system. Also know as "Tannoy".

Pyrotechnics: Any chemical effects used during the performance to give special effects



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