Drama Terms from Around the World
In the field trip, you see a segment of Candida from Act 3, when the resolution of the story is in sight. We use the French term denouement (pronounced, roughly, day-noo-MA) to name this untangling of plot in a story. Here are some other crossover termswords that originated in another country but have become central to the English language of performance and production.
COMMEDIA DELLARTE | professional improvised comedy that developed in Italy during the Renaissance.
CATHARSIS | the emotional release an audience feels after the downfall of a tragic character. [Greek]
DEUS EX MACHINA | a Greek term meaning god from a machine. In Greek theater, an actor playing a god was often lowered onto the stage to settle worldly affairs. The term is now used to describe any device an author introduces late in a play to resolve plot difficulties.
DENOUEMENT | an element of plot that refers to the untangling and resolution of complications. [French]
ENTRACTE | music that takes place between acts in a play. [French]
HUBRIS | an act of excessive pride; a shortcoming or fatal flaw. [Greek]
INGENUE | a female lead between the ages of 16 and 30. [French]
THESPIAN | an actor; of or relating to the theater. [Greek]
Web Pick: More Theater Vocabulary
For a more extensive theater vocabulary, visit Tupelo Community Theatres web site, which has a great glossary of theater terms.