fact play -- refers to a documentary play
fade out/dim out -- a slower darkening of the stage
fade up/fade in -- stage lights come up gradually
fake -- to ad lib
falling action -- that part of the plot that follows the climax and includes the denouement
false perspective -- a scenic effect that, by exaggerating the effects of perspective, makes a set look bigger than it really is
false proscenium -- a portal that sits in front of or inside the real proscenium, giving the set its own "picture frame"
fantasy -- a dramatic work characterized by fanciful or supernatural elements
farce -- play that aims to entertain and provoke laughter. Its humor is the result primarily of physical activity and visual effects, and it relies less on language and wit than do so-called higher forms of comedy. Violence, rapid movement, and accelerating pace are characteristics of farce. Example: Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring
fast change -- a costume change that must be done very quickly, and is therefore done in the wings instead of in the dressing room
fat part -- a role with lots of good lines in it
feed lines -- deliberately given so that the responding actor can get the maximum effect out of his return line
feminine ending -- line of verse in iambic pentameter with an additional unstressed syllable at the end of the line.
festoon curtain -- one that can be looped into folds
figurative language -- makes use of figures of speech, especially metaphors.
fill light -- (often simply fill) - used to reduce the contrast of a scene and provide some illumination for the areas of the image that are in shadow. A common lighting setup places the fill light on the lens axis, roughly perpendicular to the key light. The fill light is often softer and, by definition, less intense than the key light.
finale -- the final number, usually in a musical show
fire curtain -- first specially treated curtain (asbestos) hung immediately behind the proscenium; usually held by a fused link which will separate automatically in case of fire and lower the curtain
first electric -- the most downstage electric; generally contains the greatest number of lighting instruments of any electric
First Folio -- the first anthology of Shakespeare's works, put together and published by his friends in 1623, seven years after his death.
first hand -- the second-in--command in the costume shop, assistant to the costume shop manager
flashback -- theatrical convention in which the audience is able to see scenes from the past through the eyes of one of the characters in a play
flashpots -- devices that contain a mechanism to trigger a flash of flame and a billow of smoke which is triggered from offstage
flat -- frame constructed of 1-by-3 boards, covered with canvas, painted, and used most often for interior or exterior walls of a building in a stage setting
flooding -- (a Fresnel) the process of moving a Fresnel lamp back in the instrument, thereby making the beam of lighting wider; the opposite of "spotting"
floodlight - an unfocused instrument that throws a broad general light
floor plan -- line drawing of a stage set as seen from above showing the placement on the stage floor of the scenic elements
floor pocket - a metal box recessed in the stage floor containing electrical outlets from stage plugs
fly gallery - the platform above the floor level of the stage used for tying fly lines
flying -- being raised up in the air; to "fly" a piece of scenery is to raise it up using ropes or cables. People may also be flown, but only by trained professionals using special equipment
fly loft (flies) -- space above the stage where scenery may be lifted out of sight of the audience
flyman -- the person who operates the flying system
focal length -- in an ellipsoidal, the distance from the lamp to the point where all the light beams converge. The longer the focal length, the narrower the beam of light that the instrument produces.
focal point -- place onstage of greatest interest to the audience at that moment
focus -- controlling the audience’s attention. A director may have to ask an actor not to steal focus with excessive movement on another actor’s line.
focusing -- the process o pointing the lighting instruments where the director wants them
fog effect -- the illusion of fog on the stage
fog machine -- a simple machine that produces a ground-hugging fog by melting dry ice
fold -- when an unsuccessful play closes
folio -- a large sheet of paper, approx. 18"x14" folded several times containing the lines of a script.
folk drama -- early drama performed by villagers usually during holidays and festivals
follow spot -- large lighting instrument (usually a carbon arc or an electric spotlight with a high-intensity beam) mounted with special equipment so that an operator can direct the beam in narrow wide flood focus in any direction and thereby accompany an actor in his/her various movements over the stage.
footcandle -- the illumination on a surface one foot from a source of one candle power; also called “lumen per square foot”
footing -- bracing a flat with your foot while it is being raised from a gorizontal position to a vertical one
foot iron -- a small strip of iron with a hole in one end fastened to the bottom of a stage brace which in turn is fastened to the floor with a stage screw
footlights -- row of low-wattage lamps providing general illumination and usually circuited in several colors
foreshadowing -- action or dialogue in one part of a play that gives hints to something that will happen in another part of the production
found space -- acting/audience space that was designed for another purpose. Productions in the streets, bus terminals, gymnasiums, parks, and the like are said to use found spaces.
fourth wall -- imaginary wall filling in the proscenium arch through which the audience can see in and observe the action
freeze -- to stop all movement
French door -- opening constructed of simulated glass panes extending its full length; hung in pairs
French flat -- a series of flats lashed and battened together and “flown” as one piece
French scene -- division in a scene or act of the play framed by the entrance or the exit of a major character
Fresnel -- a type of lens that has concentric circular ribs on it that cast a soft-edged beam of light; usually used on the first pipe batten just upstage from the teaser to blend together lighting areas
front-of-house (FOH) -- anything in the audience; commonly used to descrige staff such as ushers; also lighting positions
front light -- any light that is coming from downstage of an actor
full back -- performer has his/her back to the audience
full front -- performer is facing the audience
fullness -- the number and depth of the folds in a drape; the greater the fullness, the more folds in the drape