This is a glossary of terms used in acting and some used specifically in the Drama Dragons.
Arena/In The Round (u-ree’-nu slash’ in’ thu’ rownd’) 1. The type of stage that consists of a flat surface surrounded on most, if not all, sides by the audience.
ASM (ae’ es’ em’) 1. The abbreviation for Assistant Stage Manager. 2. One who is not fully eligible for the Stage Manager position, but assists the Stage Manager in their duties.
Assistant (u-sis’-tent) 1. A very helpful and forgiving person to whom the director assigns many undesirable or tedious tasks. 2. Many times the Stage Manager of the show.
Auditions (o-di’-shuns) 1. The process by which an actor performs a monologue for the director of a production, so the director can observe their actions, attitudes, and acting ability in order to select for said actor an appropriate character for the upcoming show.
Blocking (blok’-ing) 1. The movements, inflections, and overall physical actions in a theatrical performance as given by a director or stage manager.
Blocking Shorthand (blo’-king short’-hand) 1. C = Centerstage. UC = Up Center. DC = Down Center. WDC = Way Down Center. CL = Center Left. CR = Center Right. SL = Stage Left. SR = Stage Right. DL = Downstage Left. DR = Downstage Right. UL = Upstage Left. UR = Upstage Right. EX = Exit. E = Enter. X = Cross. Stp = Steps. © = Charlie is here (used with any name). Diagonal arrow in any direction = cross in that direction.
Break The Fourth Wall (foerth’ wol’) 1. When an actor speaks to the audience on-stage, but is still in character.
Choreography (kore-ee-o’-gru-fee) 1. The process by which a fight, dance, or other movement-related activity is planned and practiced before a performance.
Cold Read (cold’ reed’) 1. The process by which a director selects a section of words for an actor to read impromptu.
Confidence (con’-fi-dins) 1. The process by which one removes hands from pockets and keeps arms relaxed by sides, not crossed, without vacillating from left to right.
Continuity (kon-tin-oo’-i-tee) 1. The order in which scenes are supposed to happen in a performance. 2. When an actor keeps the same characteristics for a certain character throughout a show, including mannerisms, movement, and general appearance. Also used when two actors play the same character.
Critique/Review (cri-teek’ slash’ ree-vyoo’) 1. To discuss something previously heard or read and provide an opinion about said subject.
Curtain Call (kr’-tin col’) 1. The period of a performance following the conclusion of the story, in which all actors proceed to center stage and bow/curtsy. 2. A ‘thank you’ to the audience for their attention and response. 3. A privilege to be earned by the cooperation of actors before the show is launched.
Democracy (dem-ok’-ru-see) 1. A method of government consisting of 80 percent actor input and 20 percent Hally-is-the-dictator-ship.
Dress Rehearsal (dres’ ree-hur’-sol) 1. Typically done within a week of opening night, it is where the cast runs through the show several times on the stage, in full costume, and with sound and lights.
Dumb Show (dum’ shoe’) 1. A section of a performance in which the actors do not speak, but instead, act as if they were conversing or carrying out a task relevant to the show. Generally, this occurs in the background while another character talks.
Enunciation (ee-nun’-see-ae’-shun) 1. When the audience can see an actors lips moving from the very back of the room. 2. The process by which an actor makes him/herself heard without increasing volume.
Foley (foe’-lee) 1. The creation of sound effects by physical means.
Gobo (goe’-boe’) 1. A flat plate or screen placed in front of a light source, causing a specifically shaped shadow to be displayed across the floor or wall.
Hallification (hal’-i-fi-kae’-shun) 1. The process by which Hally Phillips makes necessary edits to a less-than-worthy script.
Hally’s Expectations (hal’-ees eks-pek-ta’-shuns) 1. The method in which Hally Phillips desires an actor to perform.
Hold (hoeld’) 1. The command given when it is desired for a group of actors to cease movement and be silent.
Homework (hoem’-wrk) 1. When an actor is assigned a project to complete in time for the next drama class. 2. A project that is completed much sooner than the morning before it is due. 3. Research about any show the actor is cast in.
Improv (im’-prov) 1. When an actor is put into a scene without a script or blocking and has to use actions and reactions to make the scene flow smoothly. “No” is never an answer.
Internship (in’-trn-ship) 1. When an actor is experienced enough and willing to become an assistant to the director. 2. The process by which an assistant to the director learns a lot more than they thought they would. 3. Hally’s current PA.
Jam Sandwich (jam’ sand’-wich) 1. Whenyourunallofyourwordstogethersonobodycanunderstandwhatyouaresaying.
Jim (jim’) 1. The name of any such pole that stands in a specific room, located at Faith Presbyterian Church.
Light Cue (lite’ kyoo’) 1. A specific setting of light on the stage that is turned on at a specific place in the script. Usually denoted as “LC.”
Miglet (mig’-lit) 1. A small creature that resembles the offspring of a frog and a caterpillar. 2. A curse word that has no definition.
Meat Prop (meet’ prop’) 1. A living creature on stage that is treated as a prop, i.e. a dead person.
Nail Feet To The Floor/Plant It/Stick Feet (pronunciation not needed) 1. The process by which an actor does not vacillate.
Never Play The Same Character Twice (pronunciation not needed) 1. The process by which an actor under Hally Phillips does not play the same character more than once. Ever.
No Gum (no’ gum’) 1. The process by which one removes gum from his/her mouth before entering a theatre class or production.
On Time (on’ tiem’) 1. What an actor should always be.
Pandemonium (pan-de-moe’-nee-um) 1. A word commonly pronounced “pan-de-moe’-nee-um,” and not in any other way, such as: Pamendonium, pandenomium, etc. 2. A common factor in the last rehearsals before a show. 3. See Chaos.
Paul (pol’) 1. The name of a specific cousin of any such Jim as was previously mentioned. Located in the upper floor of Faith Presbyterian Church.
Performance (per-foer’-mins) 1. The actual exhibition of the play. There are many times that a cast does multiple performances.
Performance Mode (per-foer’-mins mode’) 1. When the cast and crew of a show realizes that opening night is closer than they thought, and everything gets a little hectic.
Play Selection (play’ sl-ek’-chun) 1. The process by which a performance is chosen, consisting of but not limited to: the reading of scripts, the discussion of scripts, the voting of actors, and the decision of said performance.
Places (plae’-sez) 1. Where an actor is supposed to be at the beginning of a show. 2. A command to alert actors to find their starting positions for the beginning of the show.
Production (proe-duk’-shun) 1. The time period from the selection of a director to the final performance.
Production Meeting (proe-duk’-shun mee’-teeng) 1. A meeting close to opening night in which the techie(s), stage manager, and director examine the stage in relation to their original rehearsal space and discuss sound, lights, and any revised blocking.
Pronunciation (pro-nun’-see-ae’-shun) 1. When an actor can say a word that is identical to the word he/she sees on a script with understanding. 2. The process by which certain unnamed actors fail.
Proscenium (pro-see’-nee-um) 1. The type of stage that consists of a flat surface facing the audience with only one side.
Reaction (ree-ak’-shun) 1. When an actor responds to a situation according to how his/her character would feel. 2. What an actor does the entire time on stage, speaking or not.
Rehearsal (ree-hr’-sl) 1. Any such practice sessions of a certain performance in the time period before said performance.
Repertoire (re’-pr-twar) 1. A stock of monologues, plays, or pieces that an actor is always prepared to perform. 2. When auditioning for a wide variety of shows, an actor should be prepared with one comedic monologue, one dramatic monologue, and one classic monologue (generally Shakespeare).
Revels (re’-vls) 1. A word commonly pronounced “re’-vls,” not “ru-veels’.”
Right Cheeks (rite’ cheeks’) 1. The flesh on an actor’s face adjacent his/her mouth that should be facing the audience at all times.
Run (run’) 1. How long something takes in theatre. 2. The length of a show.
Seasickness (see’-sik-nis) 1. A disease contracted from the sight of an actor during vacillation.
Scene Plot (seen’ plot’) 1. A chart kept backstage that lists each scene and scene change and who is participating in those scenes and scene changes.
Shakespeare (shaek’-speer) 1. A famous, European playwright who is discussed and referred to in theatre classes. 2. Partially the father of modern theatre.
Show (shoe’) 1. The story, in script form, that is going to be performed.
Sides (siedz’) 1. Sections of a script that a director keeps on hand. Multiple actors would be chosen to read one side, so the director could see how well the actors work together.
SM (es’ em’) 1. The abbreviation for Stage Manager. 2. One who assists the director in coordinating the choreography, blocking, lines, and tech-related activities in a production. 3. Takes attendance, blocking, director’s notes. 4. More important than the director and becomes the ‘top dog’ near the end of a production.
Sound Cue (sownd’ kyoo’) 1. A sound that is played at a specific point in the script to add depth to the scene onstage. Denoted by the letters “SQ.”
Stage Combat (staej’ com’-bat) 1. The use of violence in a performance that has been practiced many times beforehand and choreographed safely. 2. Hurting someone from the view of the audience, without actually hurting them.
Summer Dragon (sum’-ur dra’-gun) 1. An actor who attends the Drama Dragons’ summer camp. 2. An actor in a (semi)mature state of mind who is 13 years or older and has spoken to Hally Phillips about attending camp.
Techie (te’-kee) 1. A stage hand who assists with sound, lighting, and other technology-related subjects in a performance. 2. SM, ASM, dresser, stylist, and makeup artist.
Tech Rehearsal (tek’ ree-hur’-sol) 1. A rehearsal in which the techie is introduced to the script and is given a chance to run through the sound and lights of the performance.
Theater (thee’-u-tr) 1. The building in which a theatrical performance takes place. 2. Church, parking lot, closet, gymnasium, or traditional building.
Theatre (thee’-u-tr) 1. The art of acting.
Thrust (thrust’) 1. A stage that looks like a proscenium has been shoved into the audience. It is surrounded on three sides by the audience.
Um (um’) 1. Used when the speaker does not know what to say. 2. A method of speaking when the speaker has forgotten what they were about to say. Not acceptable in any theatre class.
Unisex Roles (yoo’-ni’-seks roels’) 1. The process by which a male actor performs as a female, or a female actor performs as a male, as was used in early theatre and today.
Volume (vol’-yoom) 1. How loud an actor is. Increased by the use of the diaphragm when speaking. 2. When grandma in the back of the room can hear the actor.
Voms/Vomitorium (vomz’ slash’ vom-i-tore’-ee-um) 1. The passageways through which audience members walk to reach their seats. Also entrances to the stage for actors. 2. The section of a Roman theater in which the audience was allowed to vomit.
Wrong Cheeks (rong’ cheeks’) 1. The cheeks upon which an actor sits that should never be shown to the audience unless directed to.