objective -- the goal toward which a character is striving. The superobjective (also called spine) is the life goal that determines how the character responds in any situation.
obligatory scene -- a scene which is foreshadowed by the playwright and therefore is necessary to play
off-Broadway -- smaller professional theaters (with a capacity of less than 299 seats) around and outside the central New York theater district on Broadway and around Times Square. Originally noted for their experimental nature, these theaters have become for the most part, as commercial as their Broadway counterparts.
off-off-Broadway -- very small professional theaters with a capacity of under 137 seats, often subsidized, which are often set up in lofts, warehouses, or churches and are usually characterized by their experimental scripts and styles of productions
offstage -- areas of the stage not in view of the audience
olio -- a variety of acts following an old fashioned melodrama; formerly a scene played downstage in front of the curtain while another scene was being set
olio curtain -- a drop curtain which rolls up from the bottom and usually painted with a pastoral scene in the middle and surrounded with advertising
on (or off) book -- unable (or able) to perform a scene without looking at a script; the stage manager fllowing along in the script during rehearsal is also said to be "on book"
one-quarter left -- performer turns to his/her left about halfway between full front and left profile
one-quarter right -- performer is in a position halfway between right profile and full front
onomatopieia -- words whose sound mimic what they describe.
open -- actor is to turn front and face the audience
open turn -- actor is to turn toward the audience
opera -- a dramatic or comic work set to music in which the words a generally sung rather than spoken
operating light -- a light on the switchboard allowing the electrician or light man to see what he is doing
operetta -- a light musical-dramatic work with usually an inconsequential plot, cheerful music and spoken dialogue
orchestra -- main floor seating area of the auditorium
orchestra pit -- space for musicians located right in front of the stage, often sunken so the audience can see above them
orientation -- initial gathering of the cast to explain policies, hand out rehearsal schedules, make introductions, discuss directing approach, and explain the concept of the production. On some occasions the costume and set designers show renderings or models of their work.
overlap -- to respond before an actor stops speaking; to telescope
overplay -- to exaggerate or use more force than is needed
overture -- orchestral beginning of a musical, opera, or play
oxymoron -- two incongruents or contradictory words brought together to make a striking expression: cold fire.