* glossary NEW:


A theatrical directions: Stage left is the opposite of Stage Right, and refers to movement to an actor's left, as he faces the audience, while standing on the stage... stage (theatre) wikipedia * A theatre director is a principal in the theatre field who oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a play by unifying various endeavors and aspects of production. [ wikipedia ]

* Total Directing

Dictionary Pages:









film analysis

The Theatre Team: Playwright, Producer, Director, Designers, and Actors. Contributors: Jeane Luere - editor, Sidney Berger - editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 1998. (quotes)

The Directorial Image: The Play and the Director by Frank McMullan; Shoe String Press, 1962 - 1: Creativity and the Director - 2: Dramatic Communication and Response - 3: Nature and Pattern of Drama - 4: Potentials of Dramatic Values - 5: Points of Focus - Directorial Image

The Director and the Stage: From Naturalism to Grotowski by Edward Braun; Holmes & Meier, 1982 - I. The Meiningen Theatre - 2. Antoine and the Theatre Libre - 3. The Symbolist Theatre - 4. Alfred Jarry - 5. Stanislavsky and Chekhov - 6. Edward Gordon Craig - 7. Max Reinhardt in Germany and Austria - 8. Meyerhold - the First Five Years - 9. Meyerhold - Theatre as Propaganda - 10. Piscator in Berlin - Ii. Brecht's Formative Years - 12. Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty - 13. Grotowski's Laboratory Theatre

terms UK *

Antoine and the Theatre-Libre by Samuel Montefiore Waxman; Harvard University Press, 1926 - Chapter I: Forerunners of the Theatre-Libre (the Dog Barks) - Chapter II: Henry Becque (and the Caravan Passes) - Chapter III: Andre Antoine - Chapter IV: The Beginnings of the Theatre-Libre - Chapter V: The Battles of the First Season (1887-1888) - Chapter VI: The Second and Third Seasons (1888-1890) - Chapter VII: Antoine's Dream - Chapter VIII: Censors and Sponsors (1890-1891) - Chapter IX: Curel and Brieux (1891-1892) - Chapter X: The High-Water Mark (1892-1893) - Chapter XI: The Last of the Theatre-Libre and After (1893-1896) - Chapter XII: The Influence of the Theatre-Libre

Bert Brecht by Joseph Fabry, Willy Haas, Max Knight; Frederick Ungar Publishing, 1970 - 1: Prologue: Bert Brecht Between Two Worlds - 2: Small and Great Beginnings - 3: The Threepenny Opera and Its Consequences - 4: Epilogue to the Threepenny Opera - 5: Theory and Practice of the "Didactic Plays" - 6: Postscript to the Second German Edition - 7: Epilogue: Brecht's Literary Estate

Concept: (state your overall concept, including the following additional items: Themes, Setting, Time Period, Costuming, Technical Aspects)

Epic Theatre Techniques:

Captions * A device used by Erwin Piscator and subsequently by Brecht. Events about to be shown are described in large letters on placards for the audience to see

Distantation * A fairly accurate, if not very idiomatic, translation of “Verfremdung” .

Epic theatre * Brecht's term for what theatre should be - an ideal to which his own plays were aspiring. The Epic theatre is a kind of drama which will require wholly new styles of acting and methods of production. The Epic theatre can be reduced to a number of distinctive features or techniques: acting technique; the v-effekt; the Gestus and so on .

Expressionism * A kind of theatre developed by August Strindberg as a way of expressing states of mind. It uses symbolism, unrealistic speech and non-naturalistic sequences of time, place and action. Brecht's early plays have some of these qualities. Its freedom from naturalistic conventions is retained in the Epic theatre.

Fourth wall * Naturalistic plays purport to depict life precisely as it appears. Thus a typical stage set will look exactly like an ordinary room with one wall (that nearest the viewer) removed - the fourth wall is the missing one; the first three are those we see.


Gestus * Everything an actor does (in terms of gesture, stance, what we now call “body-language”, intonation) in order to show the significance of a scene. Brecht believed that it might be possible eventually to develop a form of dialogue that compelled the actor to display the correct “Gestus”. In the meantime, this was to be achieved by the director, and by keeping detailed records (Model Books) of exemplary performances.

Lighting * In the Epic theatre the sources of light should be visible at all times, as they are, say, in a boxing ring (Brecht's comparison). Lighting should be uniformly bright; effects of colour and dimming are not to be allowed. This is partly explicable in terms of Brecht's taste for simplicity and austerity, partly in terms of his desire to avoid creating emotional effects.

Model books * Exemplary productions of “Epic” plays were to be recorded, in minute detail, in every phase. Model books would contain photographs of each stage of production, and copious notes. Five books were published. The plays treated (not only Brecht's) include Galileo, Mother Courage (twice) and The Mother.

Music * Brecht's plays make extensive use of music in a tremendous variety of styles. He secured the services of distinguished composers, such as Weill, Hindemith, Eisler and Dessau. Music, at first, was used to break the illusion of reality merely by bringing variety. Later Brecht evolved the theory that whereas conventionally (as in Wagner) music was a narcotic, reinforcing emotion, in the Epic theatre it should provoke thought, dispel illusion and drive out emotion. This led to the idea of “gestic” music - music which would inform the audience about the right intellectual response to events depicted in the drama.

Rehearsal * In the epic theatre, rehearsal might require presenting a scene from a play other than that to be produced, in order to understand a relationship. Speeches were also, in rehearsal, delivered in the third person with narrative links, or transformed into reported speech, with stage directions also converted into description or narrative. This was supposed to help the actor relax, be aware of the audience - not lost in his character, have muscular control and, eventually, deliver a perfect product.

Verfremdungseffekt (the) * Translated (badly) as “Alienation-effect” and (awkwardly) as “Distantation-effect”. More accurately it is “the effect that makes things seem strange or different”. The term refers to the use of various devices to make things appear in a new light, so we consider them with intellectual objectivity, robbed of their conventional outward appearance.

Verfremdungseffekt (a) * When something is presented in a strange or surprising manner and we see it afresh, a Verfremdungseffekt has been achieved. Brecht gives the example of a child whose widowed mother remarries, seeing her, for the first time, as a wife. In the plays a V-effekt may be produced by the comment of a chorus figure (the Singer or Wang) or in ordinary dialogue (as in Galileo's “now I must eat”: suddenly he is seen not as the great scientific innovator but an ordinary, hungry man).

Subtext is the unspoken thoughts and motives of your characters -- what they really think and believe. [ No page? ] The difference between what (how) they say things and HOW they act... No (good) drama without subtext. Good acting (directing) is all subtext! Subtext is the real TEXT.

"Objective" and "Super-Objective" in directing? define: subtext google

A dramatic situation is a situation, in a narrative or dramatic work, in which people (or "people") are involved in conflicts that solicit the audience's empathetic involvement in their predicament. Often we are plunged directly and immediately into a dramatic situation, right at, or shortly after, the opening of the story or play. [Critical Concepts] *** NEW, directing with anatoly NEW, directing class

Waiting for Godot


The artistic director of a theatre is responsible for choosing the material staged in a season, and the hiring of creative/production personnel (such as directors), as well as other theatre management tasks. He or she may also direct productions for that company. He or she is primarily responsible for the finished product of the theatres (the actual performances) as opposed to the business end of the theatre operations. [ wiki ]


Artaud is one of the two or three most influential and radical theatrical innovators of the twentieth century, whose theories, production ideas, writings and plays have brought a new poetic impulse and dynamic intensity to the stage to replace the naturalistic theatre that preceded his own.

A member of the Surrealist group, Artaud brought many of the ideas and techniques from expressionism and surrealism to his own conception of epic theatre and he is not only a direct ancestor of the "Theatre of the Absurd" but also a primary and increasing influence on the many forms of drama that followed absurdism and are still emerging today. Peter Brooke's "Theatre of Cruelty" is only one of the developments of Artaudian theory...

Antonin Artaud - Collected Works

[ this glossary is only a few terms I want to stress in class... ]

subtext [Function: noun]
1. The meaning (as of a literary text)
2. A story within the story.

... and how we do it.

Directing Dictionary

"Stage Grammar"

Stage Director : Creative head of the show, the director is the chief interpreter, and must thoroughly analyze and understand the musical: the plot, characters, theme and thoughts, dialogue, songs, dances, music and style. Directors are known for having a "vision" (or concept) for the show - no two directors would direct a show the same way. After finding their vision, they cast and direct the actors accordingly. The director customarily stages everything except the dances, and works closely with choreographer and musical director.

general glossary: 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5
Here, on the left the subject listing:

Theatre Glossary

Each directory has its own dictionary page, go there!

Method Acting
Film & Drama
Script Analysis
Film Directing



Golden Triangle


Theatre Theory *

Book of Spectator ***

Virtual Theatre *

Method Acting Glossary **

Service pages are in the bar at the bottom, topics listing -- at the top!

NEW: General Glossary *

outside dict.

Yevgeny Vakhtangov (1883 - 1922): Worked at the Moscow Art Theatre as artistic leader of the First Studio * Combination of Stanislavsky's attention to character biography and Meyerhold's theatricalism

Theatre Terms

1. A brief summary of the concept, stated in "active" terms, that you envision for this play based upon your understanding of the script, production values, etc. You might want to make note of anything special (either positive or negative) that should be considered regarding this play, i.e., characterization, mood, theatrical style, period of time, atmosphere, or theme.
2. What is your "approach" to working with actors? How would you maintain or modify that approach for this specific production? A director is a team leader. What "approach" would you use to deal with the rest of your production team (production coordinator, stage manager, designers, staff)?
3. Stasis -- Please describe and discuss the following: 1) Opening Stasis; 2) Intruding Action; and 3) Closing Stasis of the play
Reason -- Why do you personally want to direct this play? What special message does it have for you? [This information will assist us in evaluating multiple proposals for the same show].

Stage : This is the whole area comprising the stage that can be seen by the audience, as well as the wings that are hidden. It also includes trapdoors and hatches and their operating mechanisms. The different parts of the stage are traditionally known as: stage left (left side when facing the audience from the stage), stage right (the opposite side), the back of the stage, and the front of the stage (facing the apron).

stage direction : Part of the script of a play that tells the actors how they are to move or to speak their lines. Enter, exit, and exeunt are stage directions.

Stage Manage : The stage manager is the director's assistant at cast interviews, auditions, and rehearsals. He/she keeps an up-to-date list of addresses and phone numbers of the company, helps to plan the rehearsal schedule, and posts or makes announcements for things like costume fittings and photo sessions. The stage manager is the disciplinarian, enforcing necessary rules of conduct. In rehearsal, they make the rhearsal room to correspond to the floor plans of the sets, provide makeshift furniture and props, and keep track of all sound and lighting cues, as well as all entrances and exits. During technical rehearsals, they supervise the work of the various technical crews. During the run of the show, the stage manager calls the periodic time until curtain, and makes sure that all performers are accounted for. If a member of the cast is missing, the stage manager arranges for the understudy to take his/her place. Backstage, the stage manager is the boss. As the old saying goes, he's God. In the production of a Broadway musical, the responsiblilties of this job are so numerous that there are at least two assistant stage managers.

Theatre elements :
Focus -- Knowing what the drama experience is about and centering the work so that the students are able to explore and make new discoveries about that particular concern.

Tension -- The "pressure for response" which can take the form of a conflict, a challenge, a surprise, a time restraint or the suspense of not knowing. Tension strengthens belief by impelling the students to respond.

Contrasts -- The dynamic use of movement/stillness, sound/silence and light/darkness by structuring shifts in perspective, pace, groupings, use of time and space, etc.

Symbol -- Something which stands for or represents something else. Within any work of dramatic art, links can be made between the concrete experiences of those involved and abstract ideas. An idea or an object (e.g., peace, moccasins, a black cat) can hold several levels of both individual and collective meaning.

Subtext is the unspoken thoughts and motives of your characters -- what they really think and believe. [ Subtext is Content Underneath The Spoken Dialogue ] "Dramatic Conflict draws from a much deeper vein, rooted in the Subtext of your central characters. It's driven by fundamentally opposing desires." conflict (no page) Situation vs. Character, Words Vs. Action, Man vs. gods, men vs. men and etc.

Theatre is that branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle — indeed any one or more elements of the other performing arts. In addition to the standard narrative dialogue style, theatre takes such forms as opera, ballet, mime, kabuki, classical Indian dance, Chinese opera, mummers' plays, and pantomime. [wiki]

Voice projection -- The ability to make the voice carry clearly and audibly.

Writing in role -- Any written work done in role (e.g., monologues, family histories, letters, newspaper headlines etc.).

Mise-en-scene * In origin this word meant literally "placing on the stage". It refers to the way in which a "written play" becomes a "staged play".

The System (Method) falls into three sections, elaborated upon in Stanislavski's novels:

An Actor Prepares (1937) - This book explains how the actor must psychologically and emotionally prepare for a created role. Once it is created, the actor must personally develop it until he feels comfortable living as somebody else. Actors must ask themselves 'What would I do if...?' based on the circumstances surrounding their character. The System describes this as a personal reality.

Building A Character (1949) - This book deals with the external training an actor undertakes to communicate different aspects of a role. The stress here is on a physical and vocal approach to the role and how far these aspects can change to display aspects of the role while remaining in the character.

Creating A Role (1961) - This book gives detailed examples of how The System can be applied to various roles. The actor must make the role fit the script, but only after preparing the role and assuming it both physically and vocally. The actor must effectively consider and approach each line and every pause from the character's perspective. This helps the actor gain proper access to the subtext.

"Mise-en-scene" is a French theatrical expression for the kind of staging matrix one would find in a director's text with specific arrangements of time and space on stage to control actors, playscript and public.



Theatre History (Brockett) contents *

Script Analysis

Chekhov (*)

Theatre Books Master Page *

Illustrated Theatre Production Guide: Illustrated Theatre Production Guide contains a brief history of physical theatres and the development of various forms such as thrust, proscenium, and black box venues. Operation of theatre equipment is covered in detail in the chapters on rigging and curtains. Instructions for operating a fly system and basic stagehand skills such as knot tying and drapery folding, are clearly outlined. The use of metal tubing as a structural element is explored as an alternative to wooden scenery. The chapter on lighting discusses electrical theory as well as the practical aspects of hanging and focusing lights. The final chapter in Illustrated Theatre Production Guide is a compilation of many different projects that are easy to approach and to complete, and have practical value for a theatre group. $24 0240804937

The Production Notebooks: Theatre in Process (Theatre in Process, Vol 1): (Paperback)

Theatre Audiences: A Theory of Production and Reception: Susan Bennett's highly successful Theatre Audiences is a unique full-length study of the audience as cultural phenomenon. It considers both theories of spectatorship and the practices of different theatres and their audiences. Published here in a new updated edition, Theatre Audiences now includes a new preface by the author, a new chapter on intercultural theatre, a revised conclusion encompassing the influences of cultural materialism and psychoanalysis on audience theory, as well as an updated bibliography. A must for anyone interested in spectatorship and theatre audiences.

Create Your Own Stage Production Company: The practical, step-by-step guidance packed into this book shows aspiring theatrical producers just how to set up and run a successful stage company. Starting with forming a company, the author explains how to establish and fund a budget; book a stage venue; obtain necessary licenses and insurance; see that health/safety regulations are in compliance with local laws; then cast, rehearse, and put the show on view for the public and critics. Details on the duties of the house manager, stage manager, technical crew, and box office help are all included, along with tips on publicizing and promoting shows.

How to Run a Theater: A Witty, Practical, and Fun Guide to Arts Management: The definitive arts management guide, this book is written with tremendous insight and humor and packed with dozens of lists, such as "22 Wonderful Ways to Improve Your Life in the Theater" and "20 Distractions that Erode Productivity." It provides information on improving an organization by building audiences, bolstering fundraising, and tightening finances. Also covered are tips for solidifying relationships with boards, volunteers, communities, and colleagues. It's all here, from managing one's own life, working with a board of trustees, and managing a team to negotiating, fundraising, marketing, and financial management. This resource will appeal to all those who work in arts management-from novices to veteran middle managers and executive directors.

Stage Management (7th Edition) (Paperback): The "bible" in the field of stage management, this book is a practical examination of the role of the stage manager in overall theater production. Full of practical aids such as websites and email addresses in every chapter, checklists, diagrams, glossaries, and step-by-step directions, this volume has been used and admired by students and theater professionals alike. It eschews excessive discussion about method or philosophy and, instead, gets right to the essential materials and processes of putting on a production. Perhaps most importantly, Stern has continued to keep pace with the technological and professional developments affecting the stage. For theatre professionals, or anyone with an interest in stage management/ theatre management.

Theatre on the Web:

Russian art movement founded c.1913 by Vladimir Tatlin, related to the movement known as suprematism. After 1916 the brothers Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner gave new impetus to Tatlin's art of purely abstract (although politically intended) constructions. Their sculptural works derived from cubism and futurism, but had a more architectonic and machinelike emphasis related to the technology of the society in which they were created. The Soviet regime at first encouraged this new style. However, beginning in 1921, constructivism (and all modern art movements) were officially disparaged as unsuitable for mass propaganda purposes. Gabo and Pevsner went into exile, while Tatlin remained in Russia. In theatrical scene design constructivism spread beyond Russia through the efforts of Vsevolod Meyerhold. [columbia]
A Formalist Theatre by Michael Kirby; University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987 [ "formalist analysis" for script.vtheatre.net/413 + "acting and not-acting" in act.vtheatre.net ]

"200 words" (review)

Evaluation of Directing:
Play/Production: _______
Director's Name:


Visual Elements:



Names of Principle Actors and Characters:

Supporting Actors & Characters:

Evaluating the Designs:
(Actor's POV again)
Scene Designer/Set:

  Web vtheatre.net   

theatre glossary Theatre Glossary (main)