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
KELVIN The color temperature of a light source is the temperature of an ideal black-body radiator that radiates light of comparable hue to that light source. The temperature is conventionally stated in units of absolute temperature, known as Kelvin (K). Higher color temperatures (4600K or more) are called daylight colors which appear blue-white. Mid-range color temperatures (3100K–4600K) look cool white. Lower color temperatures (up to 3000K) are called warm white colors, and range from red to yellowish-white in tone.
KEY LIGHT The dominant light source/direction in a lighting state. In a sunny drawing room, the key light would be through the window, for a naturalistic exterior scene the direction of the key light could change as the sun progressed across the sky. Fill Light
KILL To switch off (a light/sound effect); to strike/remove (a prop).
KILOWATT 1 kilowatt (1kW) is equal to 1000 Watts.
KLIEG LIGHT or KLIEGLIGHT Not used much today, but often referring to any powerful spotlight unit. Originally, a carbon arc spotlight developed by John and Anton Klieg, and used extensively in Hollywood.
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