Theatre Terms | Page 45 | AACT

Theatre Terms

image of question markAs a service to the theatre community, AACT provides over 1000 definitions of theatrical terms.  Fully searchable, our glossary is helpful for technical staff, directors, actors, producers, or anyone wanting to better understand the inner workings of theatre.

Click on a letter (A-Z) below to find terms beginning with the specified letter, OR enter a word in "Search for Term" OR search by entering a word in "Words in Definition." For example, entering the word "curtain" would display all words whose definition includes that word. (Note: If the A-Z or word search has been activated, it must be reset before using "Search for Term" or "Words in Definition." To reset the A-Z search: Click Here)

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Term Definition Link
SCOOP Lighting instrument designed to cast unfocused light over a large area.
SCREEN (PROJECTION) Many types of projection screen are available. Some are multi-purpose, some only for front projection, some only for back projection. If a screen is not self-supporting, it often has eyelets around the outside edge which are used to "lace" the screen onto a larger frame.
SCREW EYE A threaded metal ring screwed to the rear of a flat for securing a stage brace.
SCRIM A coarse gauze-like material used as a drop. When lighted from the front only, the scrim appears opaque. As light is brought up behind, it becomes more transparent--totally so when front light is cut off. Used unpainted to diffuse a scene played behind it. When painted, a gauze is opaque when lighted from the front and becomes transparent when the scene behind it is lighted. Many different types of gauze are available; Sharkstooth gauze is the most effective for transformations, because it is the most opaque. Vision gauze is used for diffusing a scene, to create a dreamlike effect.
SCRIPT The printed text of a dramatic work.
SEASON 1) The annual period when the theatre is most active, often from September to June, or June-August for a summer season. 2) A series of productions for the year, as in "the season includes 3 dramas, two comedies, and a musical."
SECOND STAGE A term used to describe a smaller playing area than the main stage, often for experimental or specialized theatre.
SECURITY DEPOSIT Charged for rental materials to ensure their safe return. The fee is refunded upon return of the rental materials, minus any shipping/handling charges, outstanding balances, damage or loss of material. Rented materials must be returned free of pencil marks (always use pencil to mark rental materials; pen won't erase and you may lose your deposit.
SEGUE (Pronounced "segg-way") Musical term for an immediate follow-on. Often used as jargon for any kind of immediate follow-on.
SEND An additional output from a sound desk which can be used for foldback or monitoring without tying up the main outputs. Each input channel will have a path to the Aux buss. Also used for feeding a signal to an effects processor. Also known as "Auxiliary Output"
SEQUENCING An act of recording digitally and manipulating the MIDI information required to remotely play a synthesizer keyboard or similar device.
SET 1) To prepare the stage for action. (verb) 2) The complete stage setting for a scene or act, usually referring to the combination of flats, platforms, doors, windows, furniture and accessories. (noun) 3) To fix, through rehearsal, the general pattern of lines and movements to be followed by the actors, as in "This section is set, but we need to work on the final moments of act two."
SET PIECE or SET-PIECE A piece of scenery used in a set that is not flown, but stands independent within a stage setting, such as a tree, rock, or gate.
SETTING The designing and staging of the locale and background of a play. Sometimes referred to as the stage setting.
SFX Abbreviation for Sound Effects
SHEAVE The wheel in a pulley which carries the wire or rope.
SHIN BUSTER The lowest lantern on a lighting boom. Named because of the proximity of sharp parts of the lantern to the flesh of the lower leg.
SHOW RELAY A network of speakers carrying the sound of the show, and sometimes stage managers calls, to the furthest reaches of the theatre.


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