Theater 1st exam Study

  1. Above     
    Upstage or away from the audience.
  2. Action
     According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, a sequence of events linked by cause and effect, with a beginning, middle, and end. Said by Aristotle to be the best way to unify a play. More generally, the central, unifying conflict and movement through a drama.
  3. Ad lib     
    To improvise lines of a speech.
  4. Aesthetic distance    
    Physical or psycho- logical separation or detachment of audience from dramatic action, usually considered necessary for artistic illusion.
  5. Agon (AG-ohn)    
     In classical Greek Old Comedy, a scene with a debate between the two opposing forces in a play.
  6. Alienation     
    Bertolt Brecht's theory that, in his epic theater, audiences' emotional involvement should be minimized to increase their intellectual involvement with the political message.
  7. Allegory     
    Symbolic representation of abstract themes through characters, action, and other concrete elements of a play.
  8. Amphitheater     
    Large oval, circular, or semicircular outdoor theater with rising tiers of seats around an open playing area; also, an exceptionally large indoor auditorium.
  9. Antagonist     
    Opponent of the protagonist in a drama.
  10. Apprentice
    Young performer training in an Elizabethan acting company.
  11. Apron     
    Stage space in front of the curtain line or proscenium; also called the forestage.
  12. Arena     
    Stage entirely surrounded by the audience; also known as theater-in-the-round.
  13. Artistic director     
    Person responsible for all creative and artistic activities for resident and repertory companies.
  14. At rise     
    Expression used to describe what is happening onstage at the moment when the curtain first rises or the lights come up.
  15. Auteur director     
    A director who believes that his or her role is to be the author of a production. An auteur director's point of view dominates that of the playwright, and the director may make textual changes and modifications.
  16. Avant-garde (ah-vahn GARD)     
    Intellectual, literary, or artistic movement that breaks with tradition and seems ahead of its time.
  17. Backdrop     
    Large drapery or painted canvas which provides the rear or upstage masking of a set.
  18. Basic situation     
    Specific problem or maladjustment from which a play arises.
  19. Batten     
    Pipe or long pole suspended horizontally above the stage, upon which scenery, drapery, or lights may be hung.
  20. Beam projector     
    Lighting instrument without a lens which uses a parabolic reflector to project a narrow, nonadjustable beam of light.
  21. Beam projector     
    Lighting instrument without a lens which uses a parabolic reflector to project a narrow, nonadjustable beam of light.
  22. Beijing opera     
    Popular theater of China which developed in the nineteenth century.
  23. Biomechanics     
    Meyerhold's theory that a performer's body should be machinelike and that emotion could be represented externally.
  24. Blocking     
    Pattern and arrangement of performers' movements onstage with respect to each other and to the stage space, usually set by the director.
  25. Book     
    (1) Spoken (as opposed to sung) portion of the text of a musical play. (2) To schedule engagements for artists or productions.
  26. Border     
    Strip of drapery or painted canvas hung from a batten to mask the area above the stage; also, a row of lights hung from a batten.
  27. Box     
    Small private compartment for a group of spectators built into the walls of a traditional proscenium-arch theater.
  28. Box set     
    Interior setting using flats to form the back and side walls and often the ceiling of a room.
  29. Build    
     To create a costume from scratch in a costume shop.
  30. Bunraku (buhn-RAH-koo)     
    Japanese puppet theater
  31. Burlesque     
    Satire of a serious form of literature.
  32. Business     
    Obvious and detailed physical movement of performers to reveal character, aid action, or establish mood.
  33. Catharsis (kuh-THAR-sis)     
    Greek word, usually translated as "purgation," which Aristotle used in his definition of tragedy, referring to the vicarious cleansing of emotions in the audience through their representation onstage.
  34. Cazuela (cah-zoo-EHL-ah)     
    Gallery above the tavern in the back wall of the theaters of the Spanish golden age; the area where unescorted women sat.
  35. Choregus (koh-REE-guhs)     
    Wealthy person who financed a playwright's works at an ancient Greek dramatic festival.
  36. Climactic structure     
    Also referred to as intensive structure. Dramatic structure in which there are few scenes, a short time passes, there are few locales, and the action begins chronologically close to the climax.
  37. Climax     
    Often defined as the high point in the action or the final and most significant crisis in the action.
  38. Comedia (koh-MAY-dee-ah)    
     Full-length (three-act) nonreligious play of the Spanish golden age.
  39. Comedy of manners    
     Form of comic drama that became popular in seventeenth-century France and the English Restoration, emphasizing a cultivated or sophisticated atmosphere and witty dialogue.
  40. Comic premise     
    Idea or concept in a comedy that turns the accepted notion of things upside down.
  41. Commedia dell'arte (koh-MAY-dee-ah dehl-AHR-teh)    
     Form of comic theater, originating in sixteenth-century Italy, in which dialogue was improvised around a loose scenario calling for a set of stock characters.
  42. Compañias de parte (cahm-pa-NYEE-ahs day PAHR-teh)
    Acting troupes in the Spanish golden age, organized according to a sharing system.
  43. Composition     
    How lighted areas are arranged onstage relative to each other.
  44. Corral     
    Theater of the Spanish golden age, usually located in the courtyard of a series of adjoining buildings.
  45. Counterweight     
    Device for balancing the weight of scenery in a system which allows scenery to be raised above the stage by means of ropes and pulleys.
  46. Cross     
    Movement by a performer across the stage in a given direction.
  47. Cyclorama     
    Permanent fixture or curved drop used to mask the rear and sides of the stage, representing sky or open space.
  48. Denouement (deh-noo-MAHN)     
    Point near the end of a play when suspense is satisfied and "the knot is untied."
  49. Descriptive criticism     
    Criticism that attempts to describe as clearly and accurately as possible what is happening in a performance.
  50. Deus ex machina (DEH-oos eks MAH-kih-nah)   
     Literally, "god from a machine," a resolution device in classic Greek drama; hence, intervention of supernatural forces-usually at the last moment-to save the action from its logical conclusion. In modern drama, an arbitrary and coincidental solution.
  51. Director    
     In American usage, the person responsible for the overall unity of a production and for coordinating the work of con-tributing artists. The American director is the equivalent of the British producer and the French metteur-en-scène.
  52. Dithyramb (DITH-ih-ramb)     
    Ancient Greek choral song describing the adventures of a god or hero.
  53. Domestic drama     
    Drama dealing with problems-particularly family problems-of middle- and lower-class characters; also called bourgeois drama. There are serious and comic domestic dramas.
  54. Double entendre (DOO-bluh ahn-TAHN-druh)     
    Word or phrase in comedy that has a double meaning, the second often sexual.
  55. Downstage     
    Front of the stage toward the audience.
  56. Dramaturg     
    Literary manager or dramatic adviser of a theater company.
  57. Drop     
    Large piece of fabric, generally painted canvas, hung from a batten to the stage floor, usually to serve as backing.
  58. Emotional recall     
    Stanislavski's exercise which helps the performer present realistic emotions. The performer feels a character's emotion by thinking of an event in his or her own life which led to a similar emotion.
  59. Ensemble playing     
    Acting that stresses the total artistic unity of a group performance rather than individual performances.
  60. Environmental sounds     
    Noises from everyday life that provide background sound in a production.
  61. Epic theater     
    Form of episodic drama associated with Bertolt Brecht and aimed at the intellect rather than the emotions.
  62. Epilogue    
     A brief scene or speech by one of the performers to the audience after the conclusion _of a play.
  63. Episodic structure     
    Also referred to as extensive structure. Dramatic structure in which there are many scenes, taking place over a considerable period of time in a number of locations. Many also employ such devices as subplots.
  64. Existentialism     
    Term applied to plays illustrating a philosophy whose principal modern advocate was Jean-Paul Sartre and which holds that there are no longer any fixed standards or values.
  65. Exposition     
    Imparting of information necessary for an understanding of the story but not covered by the action onstage; events or knowledge from the past, or occurring outside the play, which must be introduced for the audience to understand the characters or plot.
  66. Farce     
    Dramatic genre usually regarded as a subclass of comedy, with emphasis on plot complications and few or no intellectual pretensions.
  67. Flat
    Single piece of flat, rectangular scenery, used with other similar units to create a set.
  68. Flood     
    Lighting instrument without lenses which is used for general or large-area lighting.
  69. Fly loft or flies     
    Space above the stage where scenery may be lifted out of sight by means of ropes and pulleys.
  70. Focus     
    Aiming light on a particular area of the stage.
  71. Follow spot   
    Large, powerful spotlight with a sharp focus and narrow beam which is used to follow principal performers as they move about the stage.
  72. Footlights     
    Row of lights in the floor along the front edge of the stage or apron.
  73. Found space     
    Space not originally intended for theater use which _is converted for productions. Avant-garde artists often produce in found spaces.
  74. Fresnel (fruh-NEL)
    Type of spotlight used over relatively short distances with a soft beam edge which allows the light to blend easily with light from other sources; also, the type of lenses used in such spotlights.
  75. Front of the house     
    Portion of a theater reserved for the audience; includes both the auditorium and the lobby area. Sometimes called simply the house.
  76. Gallery     
    In traditional proscenium-arch theaters, the undivided seating area cut into the walls of the building.
  77. Gel    
     Thin, flexible color medium used in lighting instruments to give color to a light beam.
  78. Gesamtkunstwerk     
    Richard Wagner's theory of a unified work of theatrical art.
  79. Gobo     
    Template in a theater lighting instrument that determines the shape and arrangement of the beam or pool of light thrown by the instrument. For example, a pattern created by a gobo or template could result in stripes, leaves on trees, the outline of a windowpane, or the like.
  80. Grid     
    Metal framework above the stage, from which lights and scenery are suspended.
  81. Groove system     
    System in which tracks on the stage floor and above the stage allowed for the smooth movement of flat wings on and off the stage; usually there were a series of grooves at each stage position.
  82. Ground plan     
    Blueprint or floor plan of stage design that outlines the various levels on the stage and indicates the placement of scenery, furniture, doors, windows, and other necessary scenic elements.
  83. Hamartia (hah-MARH-tee-ah)     
    Ancient Greek term usually translated as "tragic flaw." The term literally translates as "missing the mark," which may suggest that hamartia is not so much a character flaw as an error in judgment.
  84. Hanamichi (hah-nah-MEE-chee)     
    In kabuki theater, a bridge running from behind the audience (toward the left side of the audience) to the stage. Performers can enter on the hanamichi; important scenes may also be played on it.
  85. Hand props     
    Small props carried on- or offstage by actors and actresses during a performance.
  86. Happening     
    Nonliterary or unscripted theatrical event using a scenario that allows for chance occurrences.
  87. Hashigakari (ha-shee-gah-KAH-ree)     
    Bridge in n¯o theater on which the performers make their entrance from the dressing area to the platform stage.
  88. Heroic drama     
    Serious but basically optimistic drama, written in verse or elevated prose, with noble or heroic characters in extreme situations or unusual adventures.
  89. Hubris (HEW-brihs)     
    Ancient Greek term usually defined as "excessive pride" and cited as a common tragic flaw.
  90. Inner stage     
    Area at the rear of the stage which can be cut off from the rest by means of curtains or scenery and revealed for special scenes.
  91. Iris     
    Component of a lighting instrument that controls the size of the beam or pool of light thrown by the instrument.
  92. Kabuki     
    Form of popular Japanese theater combining music, dance, and dramatic scenes.
  93. Kathakali     
    Traditional dance-drama of India.
  94. Kill     
    To eliminate or suppress; for example, to remove unwanted light or to ruin an effect through improper execution.
  95. Lazzi (LAHT-zee)     
    Comic pieces of business used repeatedly by characters in Italian commedia dell'arte.
  96. Left stage     
    Left side of the stage from the point of view of a performer facing the audience.
  97. Light plot     
    Detailed outline or diagram showing where each lighting instrument is placed in relationship to the stage.
  98. Liturgical drama     
    Early medieval drama, written in Latin and dealing with biblical stories.
  99. Living newspapers     
    In the United States, the Federal Theater Project's dramatizations of newsworthy events in the 1930s.
  100. Long run     
    Term used in commercial theater when a drama is performed for as long as it is popular.
  101. Magic if     
    Stanislavski's acting exercise which requires the performer to ask, "How would I react if I were in this character's position?"
  102. Mansions     
    Individual scenic units used for the staging of religious dramas in the Middle Ages.
  103. Mask     
    (1) To cut backstage areas or technical equipment off from the view of the audience by means of scenery. (2) Face or head covering in the image of the character portrayed.
  104. Masking   
      Scenery or draperies used to hide or cover.
  105. Masque    
     Lavish and spectacular form of private theater in Renaissance Italy and the courts of France and England.
  106. Melodrama     
    Dramatic form made popular in the nineteenth century which emphasized action and spectacular effects and also used music; it had stock characters and clearly defined villains and heroes.
  107. Minstrelsy     
    Type of nineteenth-century production featuring white performers made up in blackface.
  108. Mise-en-scène (miz-on-SEHN)     
    Arrangement of all the elements in a stage picture at a given moment or throughout a performance.
  109. Morality play     
    Medieval drama designed to teach a lesson. The characters were often allegorical and represented virtues or faults
  110. Motivated sounds     
    Sounds called for in the script that usually come from recognizable sources.
  111. Multifocus theater     
    Theater in which something is going on simultaneously in several playing areas.
  112. Musical theater     
    Broad category which includes opera, operetta, musical comedy, and other musical plays (sometimes called lyric theater).
  113. Mystery plays     
    Also called cycle plays. Short dramas of the Middle Ages based on events of the Old and New Testaments and often organized into historical cycles.
  114. No ("o" is special character with straight line over it)    
     Rigidly traditional form of Japanese drama combining music, dance, and lyrics.
  115. Objective     
    Stanislavski's term for that which is urgently desired and sought by a character, the desired goal which propels a character to action.
  116. Obstacle     
    That which delays or prevents the achieving of a goal by a character. An obstacle creates complication and conflict.
  117. Orchestra     
    Ground-floor seating in an auditorium; also, a circular playing space in ancient Greek theaters.
  118. Pace     
    Rate at which a performance is played; also, to play a scene or an entire event to determine its proper speed.
  119. Pan     
    Term used in theater lighting when a beam of light from a lighting instrument moves horizontally, from side to side.
  120. Parodos (PAR-uh-dohs)     
    In classical Greek drama, the scene in which the chorus enters. Also, the entranceway for the chorus in Greek theater.
  121. Patio     
    In the theater of the Spanish golden age, the pit area for the audience.
  122. Performance art     
    Experimental theater that initially incorporated elements of dance and the visual arts. Since performance art often is based on an individual performer or director's vision, rather than a playwright's, the autobiographical monologue has become a popular performance art form.
  123. Perspective     
    Illusion of depth in painting, introduced into scene design during the Italian Renaissance.
  124. Pit     
    Floor of the house in a traditional proscenium-arch theater. It was originally a standing area; by the end of the eighteenth century, backless benches were added.
  125. Platform     
    Raised surface on the stage floor serving as an elevation for parts of the stage action and allowing for a multiplicity of stage levels.
  126. Platform stage      Elevated stage with no proscenium.
  127. Point of attack     
    The moment in the story when a play actually begins. The dramatist chooses a point which he or she judges will best start the action and propel it forward.
  128. Postmodernism     
    A contemporary concept suggesting that artists and audiences have gone beyond the modernist movements of realism and the various departures from realism.
  129. Prescriptive criticism     
    Criticism that offers advice and sometimes suggests rules for what should be done in theater.
  130. Private theaters     
    Indoor theaters in Elizabethan England.
  131. Producer     
    In American usage, the person responsible for the business side of a production, including raising the necessary money. (In British usage, a producer is the equivalent of an American director.)
  132. Prologue     
    Introductory speech delivered to the audience by one of the actors or actresses before a play begins.
  133. Prompt     
    To furnish a performer with missed or forgotten lines or cues during a performance.
  134. Prompt book     
    Script of a play indicating performers' movements, light cues, sound cues, etc.
  135. Proscenium (pro-SIN-ee-um)     
    Arch or frame surrounding the stage opening in a box or picture stage.
  136. Protagonist     
    Principal character in a play, the one whom the drama is about.
  137. Public theaters     
    Outdoor theaters in Elizabethan England.
  138. Pull     
    To choose a costume from an inventory owned by a theater company.
  139. Rake     
    To position scenery on a slant or at an angle other than parallel or perpendicular to the curtain line; also, an upward slope of the stage floor away from the audience.
  140. Raked stage    
     Stage which slopes upward away from the audience toward the back of the set.
  141. Realism     
    Broadly, an attempt to present onstage people and events corresponding to those in everyday life.
  142. Regional theater     
    (1) Theater whose subject matter is specific to a particular geographic region. (2) Theaters situated in theatrical centers across the country.
  143. Rehearsal
    Preparation by a cast for the performance of a play through repetition and practice.
  144. Reinforcement    
     Amplification of sounds in the theater.
  145. Repertory or repertoire     
    Acting company which at any given time can perform a number of plays alternately; also, the plays regularly performed by a company.
  146. Representative characters    
     Characters in a play who embody characteristics that represent an entire group.
  147. Reproduction     
    • Use of mechanically re-created sounds in
    • the theater.
  148. Reversal     
    Sudden switch of circumstances or knowledge which leads to a result contrary to expectations; called peripeteia or peripety in Greek drama.
  149. Revolving stage    
     Large circular turntable in a stage floor on which scenery is placed so that, as it moves, one set is brought into view while another one turns out of sight.
  150. Right stage     
    Right side of the stage from the point of view of a performer facing the audience.
  151. Romanticism    
     Movement of the nineteenth century which sought to free the artist from rules and considered unfettered inspiration the source of all creativity.
  152. Run-through     
    Rehearsal in which the cast goes through the entire text of the play in the order that it will be performed.
  153. Satire     
    Dramatic form using techniques of comedy-such as wit, irony, and exaggeration-to attack and expose folly and vice.
  154. Scrim     
    Thin, open-weave fabric which is nearly transparent when lit from behind and opaque when lit from the front.
  155. Script     
    Written or printed text-consisting of dialogue, stage directions, character descriptions, and the like.
  156. Soliloquy     
    Speech in which a character who is alone onstage speaks inner thoughts.
  157. Spill    
     Light from stage-lighting instruments which falls outside of the areas for which it is intended, such as light that falls on the audience.
  158. Spine    
     In the Stanislavski method, a character's dominant desire or motivation; usually thought of as an action and expressed as a verb.
  159. Stage convention     
    Understanding established through custom or usage that certain devices will be arbitrarily accepted or assigned a specific meaning.
  160. Stage manager     
    Person who coordinates all the rehearsals for the director and runs the actual show during its performances.
  161. Stage picture    
    Visual composition of how an entire scene onstage will appear to the audience
  162. Stanislavski method     
    Constantin Stanislavski's techniques and theories about acting, which promote a naturalistic style stressing (among other things) "inner truth" as opposed to conventional theatricality.
  163. Stock character     
    Character who has one outstanding characteristic of human behavior to the exclusion of virtually all other attributes. These characters often seem like stereotypes and are most often used in comedy and melodrama.
  164. Strike     
    To remove pieces of scenery or props from onstage or to take down an entire set after a final performance.
  165. Teaser     
    Short horizontal curtain just beyond the proscenium used to mask the fly loft and, in effect, to lower the height of the proscenium.
  166. Technical director     
    Person who oversees all technical aspects of a theater production, especially the building, painting, and installation of scenery and related elements.
  167. Technical rehearsal     
    Rehearsal at which all the design and technical elements are brought together.
  168. Thrust stage     
    Theater space in which the audience sits on three sides of the stage.
  169. Tilt     
    Term in theater lighting used when a beam of light from an instrument moves vertically, up and down.
  170. Upstage     
    At or toward the back of the stage, away from the front edge of the stage.
  171. Wings     
    Left and right offstage areas; also, narrow standing pieces of scenery, or "legs", more or less parallel to the proscenium, which form the sides of a setting.
  172. Work lights
    Lights arranged for the convenience of stage technicians, situated either in backstage areas and shaded or over the stage area for use while the curtain is down.
  173. Mise En Scene
    Blocking of actors, most stuff directors direct, encompasses a lot
  174. Adolphe appia
    Thought shadow or absence of light was most important part of lighting
  175. Deluge Pipe-
    a sprinkler system that drops a lot of water on the stage in case of a fire
  176. Asbestos curtains-
    cuts off audience from fire, cuts fire oxygen
  177. Dress parade
     See how actors look on stage
  178. Preview
    In professional theatre, play runs but critics are not allowed to publish reviews, as that starts a financial clock
  179. Stage managero  
    •  Often become directors as they are concerned with all things directors are concerned witho  
    •  Directors must have a creative “thing going” that stage managers do not have to have   
    • His jurisdiction is to the edge of the stage to the back of the stage to the dressing room as opposed to house manager
  180. Puchnella   
    His stock thing was anger, found his wife in bed
  181. Arlekino
    • Marito phigero was another version of it
    • Clever servant who fixes everything
    • Trickster that fixes everything, ie Bugs Bunny
  182. Jacabian-
    describes a gruesome or horrid item, based on a medieval story
  183. a unique quality of theatre that is not present in other forms is
    the relationship between the performer and the audience
  184. Art can be divided into several distinct categories such as  
    A)    literary        B)    visual        C)    performing
  185. visual art exists in
    space but not time
  186. music exists in
    time but not space
  187. thetatre exists in
    time and space
  188. which form of participation most closely describes a typical audience member's participation?
  189. Of the following, which factor allows us to enter into an imaginative world, even though we are aware that it is different than and separate from everyday reality?
    aesthetic distance
  190. In Western Europe and England during the Medieval period, --------------would attend theatre performances.
    almost the entire city
  191. What are 3 criterion for criticism?   
    • What is being attempted?           
    • How well has the attempt succeeded?       
    • Was the attempt worth making?
  192. full account of an event or series of events, usually in chronological order, is a:
  193. The arrangement of events or the selection and order of scenes in a play is the:
  194. urdles, which the playwright uses to block the character's path toward achieving their goal, are called:
    obstacles and complications
  195. The final and most significant crisis is referred to as:
    bold climax?
  196. In this genre, the playwright may draw a contrast between individuals and the social order:
  197. Burlesque is a -------- genre
  198. Stanislavski's relaxation technique most closely pertains to:
    body and mind
  199. Psychophysical action
    purposeful actions led to emotions
  200. Who was the founder of the Actor's Studio (NY)? He/she focused on the inner aspects of Stanislavski's theories, such as a technique called emotional recall.
    Lee Strasberg
  201. emotional recall
    recalling past emotions to boost stage performance
  202. Russian director Vsevelod Meyerhold is best described as a/an:
    Auteur director
  203. The type of director who works by discovering the "spine" or main action of the play:
    auteur and traditional
  204. Of the four main stage arrangements, which requires the least amount of scenery?
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Theater 1st exam Study
Theater 1st exam