The TDF Theatre Dictionary Blog

Official news and announcements.

line.reading

Welcome to the Theatre Dictionary’s conversation about the term line reading.

On line reading’s official page, we define the term as when an actor is directed to say a line in a specific way. But now we want to know what the term line reading means to you. You can use the comments section to tell us.

– Has a director ever given you a specific way of reading a line? Was it helpful or was it at odds with how you wanted to say it?

– Do you think a line reading is inherently a bad thing?

If you’d like to make a video of your own about line reading, 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

dramaturg.cropped

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

On dramaturg’s official page, we define the term as a theatre professional who brings an objective eye and creative input, along with deep research, to a theatrical work. But now we want to know what the term dramaturg means to you. You can use the comments section to tell us.

– Have you ever collaborated with a dramaturg? Was it fruitful?

– Do you know the names of any dramaturgs? (Don’t worry—this question doesn’t affect your theatre IQ).

If you’d like to make a video of your own about dramaturg, 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

fight.call.second.crop

Welcome to the Theatre Dictionary’s conversation about the term fight call.

On fight call’s official page, we define the term as a special rehearsal where actors in a fight scene meet to go over their movements. But now we want to know what the term fight call means to you. You can use the comments section to tell us.

– Have you ever participated in a fight call? Did the director choreograph the movements or was a stage combat specialist brought in?

– If so, did anyone get hurt? What happened?

If you’d like to make a video of your own about fight call, 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

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