Critical Theater Terms

Trap Door – An opening on the stage floor (opens into the bottom of the stage) where performers and/or props can appear in/disappear from stage. It is hidden from the audiences’ view.

Wings – Areas of the stage that are, usually the opposite sides of the stage, not visible due to curtains.

Prologue – The speech or poem that introduces the play; it tends to have an explanation or commentary of what is to come.

Backdrop – A painted canvas or plain surface where light could be shown. It is often hanged from the grid or with the wings to form a set on stage.

Comedy – A play that is satirical or humorous in nature; it should be noted that unlike tragedies where most of everyone dies, comedies have happy endings.

Green Room – A room or space near the stage where actors and crew members use during the play or waiting to go on stage.

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4 Responses to Critical Theater Terms

  1. jmaugeri says:

    Great job on these definitions. However, I think adding the fact that a trap door is usually unseen by the audience is important Although it is usually assumed, it can’t hurt to add to the definition.

  2. isabelzhao says:

    The words you chose are really interesting and some I’ve never heard of before, such as green room. Other than that, your definitions are very clear and tells me exactly what each word means in the simplest way possible, which I think is great!

  3. wesleyyun says:

    I appreciate your words as you have introduced me so something I’ve never heard of. I looked further into it and it seems that modern green rooms are no longer green but the term carries on due to the fact that the rooms used for the actors and crew were historically painted green.

  4. John Scanlon says:

    Before reading your definitions, I was unfamiliar with a few of these terms; however, your definitions are very concise, making them easy to understand. I like that you helped convey the definition of comedy by also defining a tragedy; however, I disagree that in a tragedy someone mostly passes away.

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