|Above the title
||In advertisements, when the performer's name appears
before the title of the show or play. Reserved for the big stars!
||Sound term. A piece of equipment which ampilifies or increases
the sound captured by a microphone or replayed from record, CD or
tape. Each loudspeaker needs a separate amplifier. Usually abbreviated
to "amp", which is not to be confused with the measurement
of electrical power.
||In a traditional theatre, the part of the stage which projects
in front of the curtain. In many theatres this can be extended,
sometimes by building out over the pit (qv).
||Assists the Director (qv). In many ways the job varies
according to the director and the assistant, but it may involve
taking some rehearsals, arranging rehearsal calls...
|Assistant Stage Manager
||(ASM) Generally deals with props and will do certain cues during
the show that are specifically to do with props, onstage effects
and so on. ASMs tend to do cues that involve more direct contact
with the cast because the cast will know them from the rehearsal
||The part of the theatre in which the audience sits. Also known
as the House.
||Abbreviation for auxiliary: an output on a sound mixing
desk which sends a signal to an exterior unit, such as a signal
||An input on a sound mixing desk through which the signal is returned
to the mix (qv) after processing by an exterior unit, such
as a signal processor (qv).
||A flat (qv) which stands behind a window or door in the
||Not the musical instrument! A rail along which a curtain runs.
||An aluminium pipe suspended over the stage on which lanterns are
hung. These are usually designated either FoH (front of house) bars
or onstage bars. They will normally be further referred to as no.
1 bar, no. 2 bar, etc. Also the place where you will find actors
after the show - the stage crew will still be working!
||An arrangement of four metal leaves placed in front of the lenses
of fresnel spotlights (qv) to control the shape of the light
||(Cab = cabinet) Loudspeakers (qv) which relay only low
||A long row of floodlights (qv), wired as three or four
||Lighting term: a type of lantern which produces a parallel beam
of light. In construction rather like a car headlamp, being a sealed-beam
unit. Also known as a parcan or parblazer.
||Lighting term: the area that the beam from a given lantern covers.
It is usually expressed as the angle that the beam subtends at the
focal plane: the smaller the angle, the narrower the beam. For example,
a 16-30 profile spot will have a beam spread varying from 16°
||Those members of the cast who are on-stage when the curtain goes
up. The call (qv) "Overture and beginners" is a
signal to the orchestra to start the introductory music and to the
cast to get into position on-stage.
||Lighting term: switching all lights out at once, leaving the stage
in complete darkness. See also DBO.
||Ultra-violet light. Can be in bulb or, more usually, tube form.
||Black curtains at the back and sides of the stage. Also ther black
clothing worn by stage crew so that they don't attract attention
to themselves during scene changes when house tabs are either not
used or not there!
||The setting of the actors' positions and moves at the beginning
of rehearsals. Occasionally known as plotting, a term usually reserved
for use in lighting.
||Another name for a control desk, either lighting (most usually)
||A copy of the script, kept by the Deputy Stage Manager, which
includes all cues (qv) and notes. Also known as the "prompt
|Boundary Zone Mics
||A type of condenser mic (qv), usually on the floor of the
stage at the front, which picks up everything happening onstage
but able to filter out low frequencies, such as thsoe produced by
||The place where the tickets are sold. Occasionally used colloquially
to mean the size of the audience ("What's the box office like
tonight?"). Often abbreviated to box.
||A set (qv) which consists of three walls, around a proscenium
arch (qv) stage. The proscenium opening is the fourth wall.
Also known as a "room set".
||A movement made by an actor, when the direction of travel is changed:
i.e. the actor breaks down left, makes a sudden movement
||Lighting term: the gradual increasing of brightness, as, for example,
in a song the brightness might build from 80% to full by the end.
||Generally, some sort of instruction to the company: a rehearsal
call is an instruction to attend a rehearsal at a particular time;
time calls are given just before each performance ("Ladies
and gentlemen, this is your thirty minute call"); treasury
call is pay day in the professional theatre. Note that time calls
are all related to the "Beginniners" call, not to the
actual time of starting the show. In other words, the 30 minute
call is given 30 minutes before "Orchestra & Beginners"
is called, or 35 minutes before the curtain goes up.
||A type of microphone which picks up sound in a heart-shaped (hence
"cardioid") area in front of it.
||The list of characters in a play and the actors who play them.
Also, as a verb, to allocate parts to members of a company.
||To make an action on stage look realistic without actually doing
what you seem to be doing; e.g. an actor looking towards the audience
in the general direction of the person he is talking to, is cheating.
||Lighting term: to lower the brightness of a lantern (qv)
to zero. Synonyms are "fade out", "fade down"
and "fade to blackout".
||(Usually abbreviated to Chief LX) He is head of the department
which is responsible for the maintenance and rigging of the lighting,
and the operation of the lighting plot. In act, he is usually responsible
for the maintenance and repair of anything electrical in the theatre,
from the stage lighting to the light in the gent's toilet! His crew
are variously known as LX, electrical daymen, electrics crew, etc..
||Devises and rehearses the dance routines, following the concept
laid down by the Director (qv).
||A (now discontinued) brand name for a lighting gel or filter.
Still used by old-timers (like me!) generically.
||Some sound mixing desks allow certain sound intensities to be
"clipped" (reduced below a pre-set level) to avoid distortion.
||Backdrop scenery painted on fabric. Cloths can be on a banjo (qv)
(usually in the amateur theatre), can be rolled up, or can be flown
||A remotely controlled means of changing a coloured filter over
the lens of a lantern. There are three kinds: a wheel with three
or four lens-sized holes into which different coloured gells can
be slipped, a semaphore (like the old- fashioned railway signals)
and a scroller which uses continuous, usually dichroic, filters.
Scrollers (qv) are the preferred option in the modern theatre.
||A frame which fits over the front of a lantern to held a coloured
filter or gel. They can be made from metal (preferred) or a kind
||In the theatre, a show does not finish; it comes down, i.e. the
curtain "comes down" to end the show.
||While the stage manager deals with what happens on stage, the
company manager's job is to look after everything that happens off-stage.
|An electronic unit which compresses and limits the frequency range
of the sounds passing through it, usually to avoid distortion when
the sound is reproduced.
||A type of microphone which requires power (either battery or,
more usually, phantom power (qv)) to run it. Condenser mics
are generally more sensitive than dynamics (qv) and are more
usually used for recording than for stage. However, because of their
sensitivity, they do have some stage uses (see Boundary Zone
Mics, PZM, shotgun mics).
||Short for the "prompt corner"; the place from which
the Deputy Stage Manager controls the show. From here he has communication
links to all parts of the the theatre and gives cues (qv)
to all departments. The corner can be on either side of the stage
but traditionally it is on the left (i.e. the prompt) side. Perversely
some theatres have the prompt corner on the "opposite prompt"
(OP) side of the stage! This is often known as a "bastard prompt".
The person who is operating the corner is sometimes said to be "in
the corner" and sometimes "on the book".
||Not a dead body in a thriller! An actor who gets an unintended
and uncontrollable fit of laughter on stage is said to "corpse".
||A method of flying (qv) in which weights are used to balance
the load being carried on the wire fly lines, so that brute strength
is not needed by the flyman (qv)
||Lighting term: fading one lantern (or group of lanterns) up while
fading another down.
||Sound: a unit which splits sound into different frequency
ranges for sending to different types of loudspeaker (qv).
Stage: the area between the cyclorama (qv) or back
wall of a set (qv) and the back wall of the stage, which
enables actors and stage crew to cross from one side to the other.
||Compact Source Iodide: a type of discharge lamp, usually used
in follow-spots, which, although very small (often no bigger than
a finger nail), gives a very bright, white light. A 2K CSI lamp
will give the same power as a 5K tungsten. These are, needless to
say, very expensive.
||An instruction given by the Stage Manager to one of the technical
departments to take some action; e.g. LX cue 7 is the seventh instruction
in the play to the lighting department. Also used in the sense of
the point at which an actor must enter or speak.
||Taking a bow in front of the audience at the end of a show. Abbreviated
to "curtain" or "calls".
||A free-standing piece of scenery, e.g.a tree, cut out of board
into the correct shape and painted.
||Also known as a cyc. Normally a very large piece of white fabric,
tensioned on two or more sides, which covers the entire back wall
of the stage. It can be lit in various colours or have slides or
gobos (qv) projected onto it. Some theatres - the Yvonne
Arnaud in Guildford, for example - have plaster cycs.