Scenery: The various flats, drops, etc. that are used to create a particular visual setting for a play.
Scrim: This is a gauzy translucent curtain. The scrim may be plain or painted. When light is thrown on the front of a scrim it becomes opaque but if objects behind it are more brightly lit they will become visible. Balancing lighting levels behind and in front of the scrim is an effective way to create interesting visual effects and transitions.
Set: The scenery for a scene or entire production. In the latter case it is often known as a “unit set” when designed to serve as several different settings with only minor changes between scenes or acts.
Sight lines: These are the imaginary lines drawn from the farthest seats to the stage. This determines where the action is placed onstage for optimum viewing.
Soliloquy: This is a playwright’s device for letting us know what’s on a character’s mind. It’s as if we’re listening in on the character’s thoughts. A soliloquy is different from a monologue in that it’s not being consciously directed at the audience. Shakespeare wrote one of theatre’s most famous soliloquies for Hamlet: “To be, or not to be?”
Smoke: Stage smoke is produced by the vaporization of various oil based substances. Smoke machines or “foggers” direct this nontoxic material on stage to create various effects. Stage Left/Right: These directions are from the actors’ perspective looking out towards the audience. So, if the stage direction calls for an actor to “exit stage left” it will be the opposite of the way the audience sees it.
Stage makeup: This is a makeup used to shape and define actors’ facial feature as seen on stage. It can be simple—just a little lipstick and eye shadow—or elaborate, involving such things as false chins and noses.
Stage Manager: This is a very important person who gives instructions or “calls” for just about everything that happens on stage. Because directors usually leave soon after a show has opened, stage managers are also responsible for seeing that a production continues to be performed just the way the director wanted. Stage managers lurk unseen by the audience, either just out of sight in one the wings or in a booth at the back of the house. Depending on the arrangement of a theatre and scale of a production there may also be one or two assistant stage managers.