Theatre Terms

image of question markHere you'll find over 1000 definitions of theatrical terms, from Aside, Beam Angle, and Camlock, to Upstaging, VU Meter, and Wagon.  Fully searchable, our glossary is helpful for technical staff, directors, actors, producers, or anyone wanting to better understand the inner workings of theatre.

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Term Definition Cross Reference Link
ACT WARNING A stage manager's call to actors and crew to announce the timing remaining before the beginning of an act, or scene. Call
CALL 1) A notification of a working session, such as a rehearsal call. 2) The period of time to which the above call refers--for example, "Your call for tomorrow night's show is 7:00 p.m." 3) A stage manager's announcement to summon actors to the stage. A request for an actor to come to the stage because an entrance is imminent is a courtesy call and should not be relied on by actors - e.g. "This is your call for the finale Mr. Smith and Miss Jones") 4) An acknowledgement of applause (e.g. Curtain Call) 5) A technical staff person with the script (book) is said to be "calling the cues," especially in terms of stage lighting cues. Call
FRONT OF HOUSE CALLS Announcements made by stage management or FRONT-OF-HOUSE staff calling the audience into the auditorium, or informing them when the performance begins. Calls are normally made at the Half (35 min. before curtain up), the Quarter (20 min before), the Five (10 min), and calls normally accompanied by bar bells at 3, 2 and 1 minutes before the performance begins. Call
HALF Call given to the actors half an hour before they will be called to the stage for the beginning of a performance. Given 35 minutes before the advertised time of commencement. Subsequent calls given are the "quarter" at 20 minutes, "the five" at 10 minutes and "beginners to the stage" at 5 minutes before curtain up. Call
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