Scenery Design for the Amateur Stage

By Willard J. Friederich; John H. Fraser | Go to book overview

APPENDIX A
Glossary of Theater Terms

(This list includes largely only those terms which are used in this book but which are not fully explained at the time of their first usage.)

Apron: That portion of the stage which extends in front of the curtain.

Backdrop: A curtain, painted or dyed, plain or designed, which hangs in the rear to serve as a background for the acting area and to mask backstage.

Backing: Solid or drapery scene pieces used to mask the offstage space which would otherwise be seen through the openings in and around the setting.

Batten: Any thin metal rod or wooden strip which is used for bracing or for anchoring scenery. Usually battens hang in the flies to support the curtains or lights, but they may also be used to fasten the sky cyc to the floor or to brace a series of flats across which they are nailed, hooked, hinged, or bolted at any height.

Blocking action: The preliminary working out of the basic pattern of movement in a play, usually done by the director before the first rehearsal of each scene.

Book flat: Two flats hinged together to fold like the covers of a book. Also called twofolds, books, or wing flats.

Border: A strip of any type of cloth hung lengthwise across the top of the stage to mask the lights and the flies. Borders are needed whenever there is no ceiling used; they are spaced at intervals of from three to five feet apart from the front to the rear of the set. In exterior settings, foliage borders may be made by cutting the irregular outlines of branches and leaves on the lower edges of the material and painting to suggest foliage. Borders are sometimes called "teasers," but, strictly speaking, only the first border behind the lights is the teaser, because it is this one which actually defines the height of the stage opening.

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