Whilst not exhaustive this glossary lists many of the technical terms specific to theatre production that you are likely to encounter in amateur theatre.
Barndoor. Rotating device with four shutters that fits to the front of fresnel spotlights to shape the beam of light.
Bifocal Spot. Profile spot with two sets of shutters to shape the beam with a combination of hard and soft edges.
Blocking. The term used to refer to the movement and relative positioning of actors.
Box Set. Naturalistic set made with flats representing a room.
Brace. Adjustable support for scenic flats.
Check. Decrease the level of light intensity.
Composite Set. Naturalistic set, representing more than one room.
Crossfade. Lighting or sound change where some levels increase whilst others decrease.
Cue. Signal that initiates a change or action.
Cyclorama. Plain scenic cloth extending across and above the stage to give the impression of infinite space.
Downstage. The area of the stage nearest to the audience.
Flood. Simple lantern giving a fixed beam of light.
French Brace. Fixed length support for a flat.
Fresnel Spot. Type of lantern giving a soft edged beam, can be fitted with Barn Boors to shape the edge of the beam.
Front of House (F.O.H.) Any area of the auditorium open to the public.
Gel. Flame retardant medium used to change the colour of light from lanterns.
Gobo. A punched metal mask that is placed in the gate of a profile lantern to shape the beam or project a simple image, like clouds.
Green Room. Room adjacent to the stage where the actors can relax.
Groundrow. (electric) Lanterns, usually floods, mounted at floor level, for lighting cycloramas and backings.
Groundrow. (scenic) Low pieces of stage set or flats often used to hide the Electric Groundrow.
Practical. Anything onstage (particularly electrical) that has to work realistically, rather than appear to be realistic.
Profile Spot. Lantern that projects a hard edged beam, often fitted with four internal shutters to shape the beam. See Bifocal Spot)
Prompt Side (P.S.) The side of the stage where the prompter traditionally sits: Stage Right in the U.K., Stage Left in the U.S.
Properties, Props. Furniture, set dressings and personal items not classified as scenery, costume or electrical.
Proscenium Theatre. Conventional type of theatre where the audience faces the stage in one block and there is a specific division between the audience and stage, the proscenium arch.
Pyrotechnics. Electrically operated smoke and light effects.
Stage Left. The side of the stage to the left of the actor, facing the audience.
Stage Right. The side of the stage to the right of the actor, facing the audience.
Theatre-in-the-Round. Staging where the audience sits on all sides of the acting area.
Thrust. Staging that projects into the audience, where at least some of the audience are on two or three sides of the stage.
copyright Leigh Graham 1997-2010.