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Feb 21, 2012

Drama Terms- The Language of Theatre

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The Language of Theatre

ARTICULATION: The clear and precise pronunciation of words

GESTURE: An expressive movement of the body or limbs

IMPROVISE : to speak or to act without a script.

PANTOMIME ; to act without words through facial expression and gesture

SCRIPT: the text of a play

Backdrop: A large canvas or muslin curtain that hangs at the back of the stage setting.

Set : the onstage physical space and its structures in which the actors perform.

Explanation of Play Spreadsheet 

 Playwright – who wrote the play or musical.

Title- The name of the play.
Performance Rights- The organization or person to be contacted for scripts and rights to a play.

Age Range- An age recommendation for performers of the play. This can be adjusted according to the maturity and skill of the performers. H.S. stands for High School, and a + means "and above", i.e., 10+ means ten-year-olds and older ages.

Characters- The requirements for the cast. There is a number followed by a gender: 3F means three female roles, 5M means five male roles, and 3N means three roles in which the gender is not indicated or could be either male or female, so the "N" stands for neutral. Chorus indicates the number of roles in a musical which are not speaking, but are required for singing and dancing in musical numbers, or simultaneous speakers in a play. A "+" means that roles can be increased without affecting the integrity of the script.

Format- Indicates the type of play. Full is two or three acts long, with an intermission. One Act is usually under an hour long, with no intermission. If a one act is longer than an hour, long will follow the format. A musical is a play in which music and dance are a major part of the script, whereas with music indicates incidental songs in the script.

Censorship Flags- Material in the play that could be objectionable to a person or group of people. Erring on the side of caution, I have listed anything that might cause censorship within the realm of my imagination. Profanity means that there is vulgar language or "four-letter words" in the script. Abuse indicates that a character in the play is being abused, usually by a parental figure. Romance means that there is kissing, dating, boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, crushes, or making out in the script. Sex/Sexual Language means that someone has intercourse (not onstage) or talks about having sex.

Cultural Indications shows the ethnicity or race, if any, given in the script. Any or Various means that many different kinds of people are called for or can be used in the cast, but even if the indication is for "White Puritans", color-blind casting can be implemented.

Time Period gives the setting for the play, when it occurs. Modern means that the setting is the present or close to it.

Synopsis is a brief description of the play, mentioning plot, theme, or source materials.

You might also like How To Direct A Play as your reference.

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