The TDF Theatre Dictionary Blog

Official news and announcements.

italian-run-screencap

Welcome to the Theatre Dictionary’s conversation about the term Italian run.

On Italian run’s official page, we define the term as a rehearsal in which the actors deliver their lines and perform the action at a much faster rate. But now we want to know what the term Italian run means to you. You can use the comments section to tell us.

– Have you ever done a speed-through rehearsal, a.k.a. Italian run? Did it help quicken the pace of the show you were in?

– Before this video, had you ever heard the term Italian run? Or did you call it a speed through/Italian rehearsal/Russian run? Seems like there are so many terms for the same kind of rehearsal!

If you’d like to make a video of your own about Italian run, then we’d love to hear from you! Just email us through our contact page. Tell us about yourself and why you want to make a video. We’ll be in touch ASAP and give you details on how to add your video to the Theatre Dictionary!

Cheers,

Mark Blankenship, Theatre Dictionary editor

upstaging

Welcome to the Theatre Dictionary’s conversation about the term upstaging.

On upstaging’s official page, we define the term as “when one actor takes attention away from another performer.” But now we want to know what the term upstaging means to you. You can use the comments section to tell us.

– Have you ever seen a particularly egregious case of upstaging? What show was it and what happened?

– As a performer, have you ever been accused of upstaging your costars? What were you doing?

If you’d like to make a video of your own about the term upstaging, then we’d love to hear from you! Just email us through our contact page. Tell us about yourself and why you want to make a video. We’ll be in touch ASAP and give you details on how to add your video to the Theatre Dictionary!

Cheers,

Mark Blankenship, Theatre Dictionary editor

improv

Welcome to the Theatre Dictionary’s conversation about the term improv.

On improv’s official page, we say it’s “a direct line to the truth… whether it is an improv comedy show, an improvised play, or improvisation to make discoveries during rehearsal.” But now we want to know what the term improv means to you. You can use the comments section to tell us.

– Have you ever done improv on stage? Was it during a performance or in rehearsal?

– Do you have any stories about improvising in real life? I know I’ve had to improvise a lot as a parent whenever my kid asks me a sensitive question… like who ate all the Halloween candy.

– What’s the funniest improv bit you’ve ever seen in the theatre?

If you’d like to make a video of your own about improv, then we’d love to hear from you! Just email us through our contact page. Tell us about yourself and why you want to make a video. We’ll be in touch ASAP and give you details on how to add your video to the Theatre Dictionary!

Cheers,

Mark Blankenship, Theatre Dictionary editor

papering

Welcome to the Theatre Dictionary’s conversation about the term papering the house.

On papering the house’s official page, we define the term as “distributing free tickets to early performances of a production to boost audiences and spread word of mouth.” But now we want to know what the term papering the house means to you. You can use the comments section to tell us.

– Have you ever received free tickets to a show?

– If so, how did you get the invite? From a cast member? An email list? Elsewhere?

– Did you ever pay for a show only to realize most of the other audience members were “paper”?

If you’d like to make a video of your own about papering the house, then we’d love to hear from you! Just email us through our contact page. Tell us about yourself and why you want to make a video. We’ll be in touch ASAP and give you details on how to add your video to the Theatre Dictionary!

Cheers,

Mark Blankenship, Theatre Dictionary editor

ad-lib-screencap

Welcome to the Theatre Dictionary’s conversation about the term ad lib.

On ad lib’s official page, we define the term as “speaking in character, but without using dialogue officially written in a script.” But now we want to know what ad libbing means to you. You can use the comments section to tell us.

– Did you ever have to ad lib on stage? What was it like?

– Have you ever seen an actor ad lib? Were they good at it?

If you’d like to make a video of your own about the term ad lib, then we’d love to hear from you! Just email us through our contact page. Tell us about yourself and why you want to make a video. We’ll be in touch ASAP and give you details on how to add your video to the Theatre Dictionary!

Cheers,

Mark Blankenship, Theatre Dictionary editor

Going Dark screencap

Welcome to the Theatre Dictionary’s conversation about the term going dark.

On going dark’s official page, we define the term as a warning given to the cast and crew that the lights are about to go off in a theatre. That makes us think of tech rehearsals, obviously, and we want to hear your best tech stories. Did you ever get surprised by a sudden blackout or some other technical mishap? You can use the comments section to tell us.

If you’d like to make a video of your own about going dark, then we’d love to hear from you! Just email us through our contact page. Tell us about yourself and why you want to make a video. We’ll be in touch ASAP and give you details on how to add your video to the Theatre Dictionary!

Cheers,

Mark Blankenship, Theatre Dictionary editor

heckling.2

Welcome to the Theatre Dictionary’s conversation about the term heckling.

On heckling’s official page, we define the term as “aggressively interrupting a performance with disturbing and abusive comments.” But now we want to know what the term heckling means to you. You can use the comments section to tell us.

– Have you ever seen a performer shut down a heckler in a funny or memorable way?

– Or maybe you are the one who took the heckler to task. How did you get the jerk to stop?

– Admit it: Have you ever heckled? Or, more likely, have you ever wished you had the bad manners to heckle? I know a few audible “oys” have escaped my mouth from time to time…

If you’d like to make a video of your own about heckling, then we’d love to hear from you! Just email us through our contact page. Tell us about yourself and why you want to make a video. We’ll be in touch ASAP and give you details on how to add your video to the Theatre Dictionary!

Cheers,

Mark Blankenship, Theatre Dictionary editor

experimental.theatre

Welcome to the Theatre Dictionary’s conversation about the term experimental theatre.

On experimental theatre’s official page, we define the term as “rejecting dominant methods of producing and writing plays.” But now we want to know what the term experimental theatre means to you. You can use the comments section to tell us.

– Have you ever seen an experimental show that blew your mind in a good way… or a bad?

– When you hear the term experimental theatre, what do you think of? A particular show, or company, or artist?

– If a production is defined is experimental, does that make you more or less likely to go? Why?

If you’d like to make a video of your own about experimental theatre, then we’d love to hear from you! Just email us through our contact page. Tell us about yourself and why you want to make a video. We’ll be in touch ASAP and give you details on how to add your video to the Theatre Dictionary!

Cheers,

Mark Blankenship, Theatre Dictionary editor

understudy

Welcome to the Theatre Dictionary’s conversation about the term understudy.

On understudy’s official page, we define the term as “an actor who temporarily takes over a role when the regular performer is sick or unable to go on.” But now we want to know what the term understudy means to you. You can use the comments section to tell us.

– Did you ever see an understudy who particularly impressed you? What show was it and do you remember his or her name?

– Did you ever go to a show specifically to see the understudy? That’s what one of our writers, Linda Buchwald, did when she caught Jay Armstrong Johnson in Hair.

– Have you seen any understudies who went on to become famous?

– Have you ever seen an understudy go on in the middle of a show? That happened to me at The Pirate Queen when poor Stephanie J. Block, who was having vocal issues, left partway through the first act and her standby, Kathy Voytko, took over with no announcement! I was momentarily confused!

If you’d like to make a video of your own about the term understudy, then we’d love to hear from you! Just email us through our contact page. Tell us about yourself and why you want to make a video. We’ll be in touch ASAP and give you details on how to add your video to the Theatre Dictionary!

Cheers,

Mark Blankenship, Theatre Dictionary editor

inamorata-2

Welcome to the Theatre Dictionary’s conversation about the term inamorata.

On inamorata’s official page, we explain that the term often refers to the female leading role in a romantic comedy, though it can also be applied to the heroines of grand operas or Shakespeare tragedies. But now we want to know what the term inomarata means to you. You can use the comments section to tell us.

– Have you played an inomarata? Who was it?

– Can you think of a contemporary character who seems to fit the “inomarata mold?” Who is it?

If you’d like to make a video of your own about the term inomarata, then we’d love to hear from you! Just email us through our contact page. Tell us about yourself and why you want to make a video. We’ll be in touch ASAP and give you details on how to add your video to the Theatre Dictionary!

Cheers,

Mark Blankenship, Theatre Dictionary editor