Your video guide to theatre lingo

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What We Do

What We Do
01

We make videos about theatre terms

The theatre has hundreds of specialized words and phrases. We define them with fun, short videos.

02

We add essays to every video

Want to go deeper? Along with a video, every term we define gets an essay that explains its history, usage, and alternate meanings.

03

We ask what YOU think

Want to add a definition? Share a story? Make your own video? Every dictionary term also has a blog page where you can join the conversation.

From The Blog

From The Blog
  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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. [...]

  • 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. – [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]