Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
critic. A critic is either the most revered or most feared person in theatre!
|A piece of unscripted action, often comic in intention, used to establish a character or fill a pause in dialogue is called what?||Theatre for the Techies!
business. An author may sometimes simply suggest "business" to indicate the need for action at a certain point in the play.
lamp. NEVER, EVER call it a lightbulb in the presence of a lighting technician! :-)
barn doors. Though similar in function to barn doors on a fresnel, shutters are part of a profile lantern.
spill. Too much spill often occurs in smaller theatres where area lighting is a more difficult proposition.
|What is the term for an insert, usually made of metal, which you slide into a light to create a special effect in light and shadow?||Theatre for the Techies!
gobo. A gobo is often used to indicate a window frame, or leaves; it casts a picture in shadow to create a mood or setting.
|In theatre, special effects are often achieved by using a curtain (sometimes made of muslin) which, depending upon the lighting, can either be transparent or opaque. What is this called?||Theatre for the Techies!
scrim. A scrim allows a scene to either be played in front of it or behind it, depending on the desired effect.
proscenium arch. A proscenium arch frames the front of the stage as the audience looks at it.
|What is the term commonly used to describe a meeting between the stage manager, director and lighting/sound technicians to organize the cues?||Theatre for the Techies!
Paper Tech. I've never actually heard the terms "cue tech" or "stage tech" used. An actors' tech is the rehearsal during which the actors are introduced to the technical elements of the production; a dry tech is a technical run-through without the actors.
|A light left burning overnight on stage to keep friendly spirits illuminated and unfriendly spirits at bay is called a what?||Theatre for the Techies!
ghost light. It is also said that a ghost light will keep the theatrical muse in the theatre.
changing from one show to a different show. Changeover is a term heard more often in repertory theatres. For example, Wednesday's evening show is "The Odd Couple" but Thursday's Matinee is "Oklahoma!"; the crew will need to changeover from "The Odd Couple" to "Oklahoma!".
|Scenery is sometimes a series of walls. What is the theatre term for these "walls?"||Technical Theatre
flats. A "wall" in the theatre world is called a flat. Commonly made out of 1x4 lumber. A thin flat sheet of lumber called lauan covers the flat. Flats can also be covered with a material called muslin. Both are sufaces that are easy to paint.
|What is another name for the "pipes" above the stage that hold flying scenery.?||Technical Theatre
battens. The batten is the the "pipe" that is used to hang scenery from. It is easily confused with the term fly lines. The fly line is the pully system used to fly the scenery.
assists the actor with quick costume changes. Dressers are very important to the timing of a play or musical. It is the duty of the dresser to change an actor's costumes in a very short amount of time.
master electrician. The catwalk is an elevated space usually above the house (or audience) that is used for lighting positions.
installing the set onstage. Many theatres use the concept of "load in" and "load out." Load ins are when not only the set goes up, but the lights are finalized, the sound is reconfigured, and props are finished. Another common term for load out is "strike", which is taking away all elements of that particular show.
above the stage near the ceiling. The grid is a support system lining the ceiling. Not to be confused with fly-lines, which are lower than the grid. Also not to be confused with the electrics, which is where lights are hung. Which is also beneath the grid.
|Who is responsible for making sure all light, sound, and stage cues are executed at the proper time?||Technical Theatre
stage manager. This is called "calling a show." The stage manager has every cue written in his/her script and it is his/her job to "call" all of them. Then the corresponding technician executes the task, but only after the stage manager gives the "go."