ALTOWelcome to the AMOS glossary. Used by members, patrons and customers alike, it's a quick and easy way to find out what a particular musical theatre (or AMOS specific) term means.
Simply scroll down to find the word you're after or look for highlighted text on the website - click on these to open the glossary at the correct word.
AD LIB : The presence of mind by an actor to improvise when;
1) another actor fails to enter on cue
2) the normal progress of the play is disturbed
3) lines are forgotten
4) It may also be a bad habit developed by some actors whereby unnecessary 'gags'
are introduced into the dialogue.
A CAPELLA:This is vocal music or singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way.
ALTO: The alto (Italian: high) is the lower female or unbroken male voice, or male falsetto of similar range.
AMOS: Abbreviation for Andover Musical & Operatic Society.
APRON : Section of the stage floor which projects towards or into the auditorium. In proscenium theatres, the part of the stage in front of the house tabs, or in front of the proscenium arch.
AUDITORIUM : The part of the theatre accommodating the audience during the performance. Sometimes known as the house.
BACKSTAGE : The part of the stage and theatre which is out of the sight of the audience.
The service areas of the theatre/ dressing rooms etc.
BARITONE: The word 'baritone' describes a type of male voice of middle range. This reference isn't usually used by BMTG, instead the bass section is divided into 'top bass' and 'bottom bass'.
BASS: The word 'bass' describes the lowest type of male voice.
BEGINNERS : A call given by the stage manager to bring those actors who appear in the first part of a play to the stage. e.g. "Act One Beginners to the stage, please". The principle actors/actresses are then called by name.
1) Black clothing worn by stage management during productions.
2) Any black drapes or tabs, permanently or temporarily rigged.
Used for masking technical areas.
BLACKOUT: Complete absence of stage lighting. Blue working lights backstage should remain on and are not usually under the control of the board, except during a Dead Blackout (DBO), when there is no onstage light. Exit signs and other emergency lighting must remain on at all times.
"Break A Leg": A superstitious and widely-accepted alternative to "Good Luck" (considered to be bad luck)
Cast: The participants in a production who act out specific characters in a play
Character Shoe: A character or jazz shoe is worn in many theatrical productions. The female character shoe is very much like a street shoe and comes in similar sizes. It has a low heel and a strap or tie to secure it to the foot. The men's shoe also resembles a street shoe but has a soft sole like that of a ballet slipper.
Conductor: The person who is responsible for keeping all the singers on stage and musicians in the orchestra playing at the same tempo and key by waving a baton in time to the rhythm. Frequently, the conductor also fulfills the role as music director in a production
Costume: The garment worn by an actor to depict a certain character in a particular period
Curtain: Commonly referred to the main curtain or the proscenium curtain that is opened (curtain up) and closed (curtain down) at the beginning and end of a scene, act, or performance
Curtain Call: An acknowledgement of the applause at the conclusion of a performance, usually accompanied by a song or musical interlude with the cast members taking individual and group bows
Corpsing: Corpsing is a British theatrical term used to describe when an actor breaks character during a scene by laughing or by causing another cast member to laugh.
Designer: The person responsible for the visual appearance of the show. The most common types of designers in theatre are: the lighting designer who sets the colour, levels, and position of the lights; the costume designer who selects the type of fabric and colour for all the costumes; and the set designer who decides on the shape, placement, and painting of the scenic elements on the stage for each scene Director:The person who attends all rehearsals and makes all the decisions regarding the placement and movement of the actors on stage. He/she works closely with the conductor and other production personnel such as the stage manager, set designer, and technical crew
Encore: From the French word "again"; i.e., perform once more.
Entr’acte: This is the name given for another performance, as of music or dance, provided between two acts of a theatrical performance.
Finale Ultimo: The final finale.
Finaletto: Rarely used as a term now, a "Finaletto" is a small finale at the end of a scene, whereas the Finale or Grand Finale comes at the very end of the show.
Flats: These are items of stage scenery - large timber constructions, covered with muslin and painted.
Forte: Forte (Italian: loud) is used in directions to performers. It appears in the superlative form fortissimo, very loud. The letter f is an abbreviation of forte, ff an abbreviation of fortissimo, with fff or more rarely ffff even louder.
Front of House: The person responsible for "Front of House" at a theatre manages the audience, whether this is showing people to their seat, general greeting or selling tickets - this is in contrast to those who work "behind the scenes" in wardrobe, props, etc.
G&S: Short for Gilbert and Sullivan. Playwright/lyricist William S. Gilbert and composer Arthur S. Sullivan defined operetta or comic operas in Victorian England with a series of their internationally successful and timeless works known as the Savoy Operas.
Get-in: A get-in is when we are given access to the theatre in which we are performing, and start building the scenery, putting up lighting and helping with the sound equipment. It often starts early in the morning and requires the efforts of as many members as possible.
Get-out: A get-out is the opposite of the get-in - the dismantling of sets after the final show.
Greenroom: The room that serves as a waiting area for actors and backstage personnel
Harmony: The sounding of two or more notes simultaneously.
House: The main area of the auditorium in which the audience is seated
House left: The left side of the area of the thttp://www.weebly.com/weebly/main.php#heatre where the audience sits from the point of view of a person sitting in a seat facing the stage.
House right: The right side of the area of the theatre where the audience sits from the point of view of a person sitting in a seat facing the stage.
Interval: A short break, usually mid-way or between acts, to give the audience, actors, and technical crew a time-out
Lib: This is short for 'libretto' and is the text or script of a musical.
Moderato: Moderato (Italian: moderate) is used as an indication of the speed to be adopted by a performer. It may be used to qualify other adjectives, as allegro moderato, moderately fast. The letter m is an abbreviation of moderato.
Musical Director: In complete control of the music in the production, under the overall control of the Director. Rehearses the singers and musicians, conducts the orchestra or band, and usually arranges the music too.
Opera: A theatrical play where all the dialogue is sung by the actors to a musical score. Sub-types of opera include: Opera Buffa, comic Italian operas from the 18th and 19th Centruries such as "The Barber of Seville" and "The Elixir of Love"; Opera Seria, tragic or heroic operas based on mythological, noble, or royal characters such as "Don Giovanni"; and Rock Opera, operas set to a score of hard rock, soft rock, pop ballad, and semi-classical music such as "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita" Operetta: A light-hearted classical musical play with both sung and spoken dialogue, which later became the basis for Broadway musicals. Examples include the works of Gilbert and Sullivan ("Pirates of Penzance", "The Mikado", "HMS Pinafore") and Franz Lehar ("The Merry Widow")
Orchestra: A group of musicians, under the direction of the conductor and concertmaster, who play various musical instruments to provide the musical accompaniment for the actors
Properties (or Props): Hand-held objects or pieces of furniture used by actors on stage
Proscenium Arch: The opening in the front wall of the house through which the audience views the performance
Répétiteur: Originally from the French word répété, meaning repeated, is the name given to the person responsible for playing the piano at rehearsals.
Scores: The sheets of music that you sing or play from.
Soprano: The soprano is the highest kind of female voice. These are usually divided into top soprano (or 'top sop') and bottom soprano ('bottom sop').
Stage left: This is left from the point of view of the person on stage facing the audience.
Stage right: This is right from the point of view of the person on stage facing the audience.
Tenor: The tenor voice is the highest male voice, except for the falsetto.
Unison: Unison is the simultaneous sounding of the same note by two or more singers or players. Unison songs are not in different parts, with all singers singing the tune together.