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
NONPROFESSIONAL or NON-PROFESSIONAL Said of a theatre or production, as opposed to professional, to avoid the derogatory connotation sometimes understood by the term "amateur." In recent decades, however, "nonprofessional" has taken on the same derogatory connotation, sometimes used to mean "not of high quality."
PROFESSIONAL As opposed to nonprofessional or amateur, the term refers to people or a production, in which all who take part earn their living in the theatre. Nonprofessional
PROFESSIONAL RELEASE A play licensed only to professional companies. Professional Rights
PROFESSIONAL RIGHTS A professional company is one that pays a salary to actors, directors, designers and other staff, whether or not the company is profit or not-for-profit. Rights for professional companies are normally based on a percentage of the gross, with an up-front payment against profits. The payment--based on seating capacity and ticket prices--is credited toward the total royalty due at the end of the run, typically based on 8-10% of the gross box office receipts, to be calculated and reported weekly. Professional Release
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