rails -- the top and bottom boards of a flat
rain box, pan -- a shallow meshed receptacle containing dried peas or lead shot which is tilted back and forth to produce the sound of rain
raked stage -- a stage that is slanted, either to increase visibility or to produce false perspective
ramp -- a sloped platform-like runway upon which an actor may walk
raspberry -- a jeer from the audience
rave -- an enthusiastic appreciate of a show by a critic
readers’ theatre -- an oral interpretation of prose, sometimes drama, by a group of performers standing or sitting onstage
read-through -- cast reads through the play to clarify meaning and pronunciations and to gain greater insight into character development and interpretation
real -- believable, truthful, genuine.
realism -- a theatre movement concerned with portraying life as it is, as compared to the more romantic acting
recitative -- operatic dialogue that is sung in a style that suggests the inflections of speech
refrain -- main part of a song, often having thirty-two measures
regional theatre -- also called resident theatre. A term applied to permanent nonprofit professional theatre companies that have established roots outside the major theatre centers. Besides bringing first-rate theatre to their region, they often have programs to nurture local talent and to encourage new plays of special regional interest.
rehearsal -- the time for discussion and analysis of the play, a time for the performers to learn their parts and their blocking and to synchronize the playing aspect of the show with the technical aspect of the production
relief -- scene, often comical, to relieve the audience from sustained emotional tension, after which the tension continues
rendering -- perspective drawing of the stage set; colored sketch of the finished set as it will appear, under light, to an audience member seated in the center of the house.
repartee -- short, funny replies in dialogue
repertory -- set group of productions that a theatre company has prepared for performance; also, the practice of alternating performances of different plays of the repertory
representational stage plays -- purports to show life as it is with actors appearing to be living their parts while ignoring the spectators who are allowed to watch the events through the “fourth wall”
reprise -- in musicals, a repetition of a song or dance with some variations
resident company -- a non-touring group using the same core of actors for the majority of its plays
resolution -- the unraveling of the difficulties in a drama so that the solution can be revealed
restoration drama -- 1600 style of theatre which Charles II restored after 18 years of no theatre in England; displayed excellent literary style as well as the irresponsible life of the aristocracy of the period
restore -- bringing the lights up or down to where they were before some event (like a musical number) occured
return piece -- a flat parallel to the footlights and used to finish off or end the downstage right and left edge of the set
revival -- to bring a show back on stage, usually an old favorite, after a lapse of time
revolving stage set -- features a “revolve” which is a circular platform that can be turned to show different scenes
revue -- a song and danced spectacular often burlesquing recent events
rhetoric -- the art of persuasion.
rhyme -- matching sounds at the end of verse lines.
rhythm -- refers to the timing and pace in a play
rim light -- light that comes from the back or side of a performer; used to define the edge of the performer and make him distinct from the background
ring down -- close the front curtain
rise -- indicating a curtain is going up
rise and run -- the ratio of stari height (the rise) to the stair width (the run)
risers -- stage platforms
rising action -- that action in a play that occurs before the climax
road company -- company of performers who travel with a show that they present in essentially the same way it was originally created in a theatre center such as New York
road iron -- angular irons tacked onto the corners of flats so they won’t splinter
rock musical -- musical that features rock music
role -- a part in a play, a character
romantic comedy -- a drama about an imaginative love story
rondel -- a glass color filter clipped to a lighting unit for color variety
royalties - payments made to authors (and their representatives) for permission to reproduce, in text or in performance, their artistic products (plays, designs, etc.)
run -- the number of performance for a particular show
run-on lines -- see enjambement.
running crews -- all the skilled employees who run the show including flyman, production electrician, production soundman, production propertyman, wardrobe supervisor, wig master, union stagehands, etc.
running gag -- comic business that is repeated throughout a musical
run-through -- rehearsal in which the actors perform long sections of the play (an act or the entire play) without interruption, usually to improve the sense of continuity and to gain a better understanding of the shape of the whole