As 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.
HOW TO SEARCH:
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)
|ULTRA-VIOLET or ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT
|A performer cast in the ensemble of a musical (or minor role in a play) who is responsible for covering a lead and/or supporting role(s)
|Completeness of a work of literature ("unities of form and time") The key qualities in the construction of a tragedy's plot, Aristotle said, are: it has a beginning, middle, and end (i.e., is complete); and it is of appropriate size to be "easily embraced in one view" or "easily embraced by the memory" [long enough to move a character "from calamity to good fortune, or from good fortune to calamity." For this reason, Aristotle says good plays resemble living organisms. (This idea has a rebirth in Romanticism's "organic form" theory.) An "episodic" plot is: one that moves from incident to incident without necessary or probable cause. In addition to unity of form and time, Aristotle also said a plot should be unified.
|UP STAGE or UPSTAGE
|The part of the stage furthest from the audience.
|UPSTAGE or UPSTAGING
|An actor's seizure of the attention of the audience when he has no right to it, as by unfairly moving upstage center so that he commands the best position, forcing other actors to turn their backs to the audience.
|United States Institute for Theatre Technology