GLOSSARY - D

dead-hung -- scenery or lighting that is hanging in the air and not designed to be moved during the performance, as opposed to "flying" scenery or lighting that is designed to be moved up and down
deadpanning -- getting laughs through using no facial expressions
dead spot -- 1. Improperly lit stage area; 2. Place in the auditorium from which it is particularly difficult to hear the actors
debut -- player’s first appearance in public, in a new place, or in a new production
deck -- the stage floor, or a temporary floor that has been built on top of the permanent floor
deixis -- such words as I, he, she, them, it, there, then, etc., that tell who or what is the person, thing, place or time referred to.
delivery -- the way an actor says his lines
denouement -- final scene of a play when the plot is unraveled and the play is brought to a tidy conclusion
design conference -- a meeting that happens early in the production process where designers present their work to the production staff
designer fabric -- e.g., Rosco; specialty fabrics for the stage, such as slit drape, shimmer cloth, and so on
designers -- (scenic, special effects, sound, costume, makeup) architects of a production;they provide the practical and artistic environment for a play or musical. The best of these highly skilled artisans knows how to deal effectively with limitations.
designer's elevation -- drawing of the flats from audience view; also any platform, etc., that is above the level of the stage floor; front view of each individual piece of scenery used by the shop crew to determine the height and architectual detail of each scenic unit.
detail drawings -- describes the details of a scenic unit or prop. It is usually drafted in a fairly large scale, typically between 3/4 " = 1' 0" and 1 1/2" = 1' 0".
deus ex machina -- originally, a theatrical device in the ancient Greet theatre where a god would appear above the scenery at the end of the play and resolve all the conflicts. Now, any event happening late in the show that, somewhat miraculously, resolves everybody's problems
deuteragonist -- a character in a play who is second in importance to the protagonist
dialogue -- conversation actors have on stage with each other
diffusion filters -- a specialized form of filter that spreads out the light coming from a lighting instrument. Used to get rid of hard shadows
dim -- to decrease the intensity of lights by using a rheostat or dimmer
dimmer -- an electronic device that reduces the amount of power that a lighting instrument receives, thereby reducing the light that it is putting out
dimmer per circuit -- a wiring scheme where every circuit in the theatre ha sitw own dimmer, thereby eliminating the patch panel
dimmerboard operator -- the person who operates the lighting control board during rehearsals and performances
director -- in modern theatre, the major interpretive figure, the artistic visionary whose job it is to bring to life the playwright’s script. The director’s primary objective is to provide artistic meaning to the theatre experience. The director might have a number of professional assistants to work with him/her: casting director, movement coach, speech consultant (vocal coach). In musicals, the music director and the choreographer are also major interpretive figures.
director’s concept -- central idea, metaphor, that forms the basis for all artistic choices in a production
dock -- storage area for scenery
dome -- permanent plaster cyclorama which also curves up over the rear part of the acting area, a partial sphere
domestic comedy -- play that explores the contradictions and eccentricities both within and between individual characters. Example: Life With Father by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crosse
domestic drama -- addresses the problems of ordinary, middle-, and lower-class people in a serious but nontragic manner. Example: The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hacked and The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
door frame -- a wooden unit made to fit into a flat an on which a door is hung
door slam -- two pieces of wood hinged to create a slam when one is dropped on the other
douser -- the control on a follow spot that fades out the light by slowly closing a set of doors
double -- 1) to play more than one role in a production; 2) one who resembles a member of the cast and takes his/her place in scenes needing special skills
double cast -- to cast two actors for the same role and permitting appearance in alternating productions
double take -- the actor looks at something or someone, then looking away, then realizing what he has seen or hear and quickly looks back
dove tail -- a fast cue pickup cutting in on another character’s line
downstage -- the part of the stage closest to the audience as you face the audience
downstage right/left -- acting area closest to the audience and on the right/left side of the stage as you face the audience (the actor’s right)
drama-- a serious form of theatre that takes a thoughtful, sober attitude toward its subject matter. It puts the audience in a frame of mind to think carefully about what it sees and to become involved with the characters on stage.
drama critic -- one who attends a performance to criticize it for a newspaper or magazine
dramatic irony -- derived from the audience’s understanding of a speech or situation not graspec by the characters in the play
dramatic time -- the period of time that elapses in a script as opposed to physical time which indicated the actual length of the production
dramatis personae -- Latin expression meaning the cast of the play
dramatist -- writer of drama
dramatization -- to rewrite into a drama a work otherwise not written for the stage
dramaturg -- member of a theatre company who acts as a script consultant on a production. He/she is a sort of reader-cum-literary editor to a permanent theatrical company; his/her prime responsibility is the selection of plays for production, working with authors (when necessary) on the revisions and adaptation of their texts, and writing program notes, etc., for the company. During the production process, he/she works with the director to clarify background detail and interpretation of the script.
draper -- a costume shop worker who makes clothes by draping them over a dress form
draw -- to attract the public
draw curtain -- a front curtain suspended by a sliding carrier running in an over head track rigged to a pull rope allowing it to be pulled open or drawn to the sides
drawing room comedy -- a play dealing with the social life of people who are well off, usually set in a drawing or sitting room and bordering on farce
DRC -- down right center (stage position)
dresser -- the person who assists actors with their costumes before, during, and after a performance
dressing room -- a space for performers to hang costumes, put on makeup, and otherwise prepare for their show
dress parade -- point in the rehearsal period at which some directors require that all costumes be ready to be seen, often a specific rehearsal during which actors don their costumes and appear on the stage for consideration by the director, the costume designer, and others of the artistic leadership
dress rehearsal -- final rehearsal in which all visual elements of production, including costumes, are used. A rehearsal process typically includes three dress rehearsals, each rehearsal striving to duplicate, insofar as possible, an actual performance.
dress stage/counterb -- to move slightly or change position to balance the stage after another person has made a cross
dress the stage -- placement of actors and stage decorations to create pleasing and balanced effect to the viewer
DRC -- down right center (stage position)
drop -- a flat piece of fabric, generally painted, that forms part of the scenery
dry tech -- extended rehearsal, without actors, devoted to setting (and, if time allows, practicing) the various technical elements of the production (lighting, sound, flying, set changes, trapping, and so on)
dry up -- to forget one’s lines
Dutchman -- muslin cut into strips 4-5” wide and glue to cover the cracks between flats