Theater Tech Glossary
The segment of Candida seen in the KET Electronic Field Trip to Horse Cave Theatre was from dress rehearsal, where all characters practice in full costume. The scene from Lizs Circus Story was shot at a technical rehearsal. The central purpose of a tech rehearsal is to check out the lighting, scenery, and props used in a performance. An efficient rehearsal demands that both actors and crew know and use the language of theater. Heres a sampling:
APRON | the area between the front curtain and the edge of the stage.
BACKING | flats or drops behind the scenery opening to mask the backstage area.
BATTEN | a long piece of wood or pipe from which scenery, lights, and curtains are suspended.
BORDERS | short curtains hung at intervals above the acting area to hide lighting and flown scenery from the audience.
CATWALK | a narrow bridge in the flies near the ceiling that provides access to stage scenery and lighting units.
DROP | a large cloth (often painted) used for creating a scene or picture background on stage.
FLAT | a wooden frame covered with cloth used to create walls or separations on stage.
FLY GALLERY | an area against one of the backstage walls where the fly rope and pulley system are operated.
FLY CREW | stagehands to raise and lower flown scenery and draperies.
GREEN ROOM | a waiting area offstage to be used by actors.
GRID | a metal framework above the stage from which lighting instruments and flown scenery are hung.
HAND PROPS | properties, such as tools, weapons, or luggage, carried onstage by an individual player.
LIGHT CUE SHEET | the lighting technicians guide for all dimmer readings and settings at act or scene openings; also called a cue sheet.
ONBOOK | a rehearsal with scripts.
PERSONAL PROPS | small props that are usually carried in an actors costume, such as money or a pen.
PLACES | the stage command for actors to take their positions at the opening of an act or a scene.
PROPERTIES | all the stage furnishings, including furniture and those things brought onstage by the actors; also called props.
RAKE | gradual gradation in stage floor height.
SCRIM | a drop made of fabric that seems almost opaque when lit from the front but semitransparent when lit from behind.
SCRIPT SCORING | the marking of a script for one character, indicating interpretation, pauses, etc.
TECHNICAL REHEARSAL | a rehearsal at which lighting, scenery, and props are used so that changes go smoothly.
TORMENTORS | side pieces such as flats or drapes placed just upstage of the proscenium to adjust the width of the opening.
TRAP | an opening in the stage floor.
UPSTAGE | the area of the stage away from the audience; toward the rear of the stage.
WINGS | offstage areas to the right and left of the acting/onstage area.
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.