English Words for Theatre and Drama

Playwright – This term refers to a person who writes plays.
The playwright received accolades for her compelling narrative and strong characters.

Protagonist – The main character around whom the story revolves in a drama or play.
The protagonist’s struggle to overcome his past made the play deeply moving.

Antagonist – A character in a story who opposes the protagonist, often creating conflict.
The antagonist in the play was a clever character who often outsmarted others.

Monologue – A long speech by one character in a play, often revealing their inner thoughts.
The lead actor delivered a powerful monologue that captivated the audience.

Dialogue – A conversation between two or more characters in a play.
The witty dialogue between the characters added a light-hearted touch to the play.

Act – A major division within a play, similar to a chapter in a book.
The drama unfolded over three acts, each escalating in tension and complexity.

Scene – A subdivision of an act in a play that usually comprises a single setting and a continuous time period.
In one memorable scene, the actors performed a dramatic confrontation under a spotlight.

Curtain Call – The moment at the end of a performance when actors return to the stage to be acknowledged by the audience.
The curtain call was met with standing ovations and cheers from the audience.

Soliloquy – A type of monologue in a play where a character speaks to themselves, revealing their thoughts to the audience.
The soliloquy detailed the character’s inner turmoil and decision-making process.

Backdrop – A large piece of cloth or scenery at the back of the stage that sets the environment of the play.
The backdrop depicted a beautiful sunset that enhanced the romantic scene on stage.

Props – Short for “properties,” these are items used on stage by actors during a performance.
The props, including a vintage suitcase and a walking cane, were crucial for setting the 1920s scene.

Stage Directions – Instructions in the script of a play indicating the movement, positioning, or tone of an actor, or the sound and lighting effects.
The stage directions called for the actor to whisper the lines with a sense of urgency.

Rehearsal – Practice sessions in which the actors and director work through the script to prepare for public performance.
During rehearsal, the cast worked tirelessly to perfect their timing and expressions.

Audition – A tryout for a role in a play or other performance where actors read specific parts of the script.
She felt nervous but excited as she prepared for her audition, hoping to land the lead role.

Ensemble – A group of actors, singers, or dancers who perform together on stage.
The ensemble worked harmoniously to deliver a spectacular musical performance.

Understudy – An actor who learns the lines and blocking of a role to be able to perform in place of the usual actor if needed.
The understudy had to perform on opening night when the main actor fell ill.

Blocking – The precise staging of actors in order to facilitate performance.
The director spent the morning session focusing on blocking for the complex crowd scenes.

Orchestra – In a theatre, this can refer to a group of musicians who play music to accompany the performance, or the seating area closest to the stage.
The orchestra added depth to the emotional scenes with their poignant score.

Wings – The areas that are part of a stage deck but offstage (left and right).
The actors waited in the wings for their cues to enter the stage.

Green Room – A room in a theatre where performers relax before and after performances.
The cast gathered in the green room to celebrate after the final performance.

Tableau – A silent and motionless depiction of a scene created by actors, often at the end of a scene or play.
The play concluded with a striking tableau that left the audience in awe.

Understanding these terms provides a solid foundation for appreciating the art of theatre and drama, enhancing both the viewing experience and participation in theatrical productions.

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