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Theatre Arts Terms and Definitions

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Executive Producer: The individual responsible for the funding and financing of a particular production.

Producer: The individual responsible for the managerial and administrative aspects of the production.
This includes, and is not limited to, hiring creative personnel, manages financial aspects of film, liaising with cast and crew and to ensure the smooth running of all aspects of a productions.

Actor: The individual who portrays an imagined reality and/or a character through the use of body language, voice and movement to express emotions and/or ideas.

Director: The individual responsible for developing and implementing the artistic vision and aesthetic value of a piece of theatre generally facilitated through blocking, lighting, costume choices among others.

Stage Manager: The individual responsible for providing practical and organizational support to the director, actors, designers, stage crew and technicians throughout the production process. This includes, but is not limited to, coordinating the work of the stage crew and overseeing the entire show each time it is performed.

Technical Director: The individual responsible for the overall organization of the technical process which includes maintaining safety of technical equipment and coordinating schedules for the technical crew.

Stage Crew/Hands: These are the individuals responsible for the shifting of scenery and props onto and off the stage, adjusting lightings, executing special effects or other similar tasks associated with the smooth running of the show.

Front-of-House Manager: The individual responsible for management of theatrical facilities, also ensuring that the experience of the patron is enjoyable and safe.

Set Designer: The individual responsible for designing the physical surroundings in which the production will take place.

Costume Designer: The individual responsible for the research and fabrication of apparel for the overall appearance of the character/s in a production.

Playwright: The individual responsible for creating the script for a production through the use of words and action of character and acts as a manual of instructions for cast and crew.

Theatre Terms

Masking: A piece of scenery that is used to conceal a part of the stage, usually the backstage, from the audience.

Apron: The area of the theatre that is located between the proscenium arch and the audience.

Syncretism: The amalgamation of different, often seemingly contradictory, beliefs.

Dramaturgy: The art or technique of dramatic composition and theatrical representation

Wings: The sides of the stage made of flats, unable to be seen by the audience, that conceal the backstage area.

Rigging the lights: The hanging and installation of stage lanterns in their proper positions for a show.

Production: The planned and rehearsed presentation of a piece of theatre presented to an audience at a particular time and place by performers.

Prompt Book: The copy of a production script that contains the information necessary to create a theatrical production compiled of all blocking, business, light, speech and sound cues, props, set drawings, contact information for the cast and crew, and any other relevant information that might be necessary for the production to run smoothly.

Proscenium stage: The proscenium is a wall with a large arch where the main curtain line separates the audience from the main stage and backstage areas.

Blocking: Term that refers to the precise movement and positioning of actors on stage in order to facilitate and enhance the performance. Blocking is used to show relationship between characters and to promote overall artistic and aesthetic value of a production.

Tableaux: The term that refers to the still images create by the bodies of actors to represent and enhance the message of a scene.

Cyclorama: This is a large white curtain or wall painted white, often concave, at the back of the stage that can be lit to represent various graphics for a scene.

Backdrop: A painted cloth or flat hung at the back of a stage set to indicate scenery.

Box Office: A place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event.

Prop: These are objects used to enhance theatrical performances by adding meaning and helping to further the plot or story line.

Fourth Wall: The conceptual barrier that separates a performer or performance from an audience.

Satire: Genre of literature, in which the shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement through constructive social criticism by the use of humour, irony and exaggeration.

Revue: A revue is a form of stage entertainment, which combines music and dancing with satirical comedy that pokes fun at contemporary events and personalities which is usually combination of singing, dancing and acting.

Catharsis: The purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art

Flat: Flat pieces of theatrical scenery painted and positioned on stage so as to give the appearance of buildings or other background.

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