Writing Playscripts
In what part of the theatre does an orchestra sit?

Writing Playscripts

Writing playscripts and taking part in school plays can be great fun. But do you know how to move about on stage? Do you know the different parts of a theatre?

In this 11-plus English quiz you are also going to learn a few things about the theatre itself. Learning these terms will make you feel like a real stage actor.

If you want to be a film director or actor when you leave school, you will need to know these terms. If you make it big in the world of cinema and theatre, there is a great deal of money to be made. In addition, playing the part of someone else is always challenging and rewarding.

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  1. What is the name given to the part of a stage that is in front of the curtain?
    That will impress your teacher. The plural is 'proscenia'
  2. What is the name given to the part of the stage that is behind the curtain and closest to the audience?
    It's not called the 'front stage'!
  3. What is the name given to the part of the stage that is behind the curtain and furthest from the audience?
    You could have guessed that it was the opposite of 'downstage'
  4. What is the name given to the part of the stage that is behind the curtain and which occupies the middle of the stage?
    Now you know the parts of a theatre stage. Your teacher and friends will be impressed. By the way, the floor area of a theatre stage is divided as follows (facing the audience and walking backwards from the proscenium): 1. down right - downstage - down left; 2. stage right - centre stage - stage left; 3. up right- upstage - up left. Note: The areas of the stage are named from the actor’s point of view
  5. In the world of theatre, you often hear the expression "Break a leg!" What does it mean?
    It's theatrical slang
  6. What is the name given to the areas to the sides of the stage which cannot be seen by the audience?
    Have you ever heard the expression 'waiting in the wings'? It means that someone in the background and close at hand is ready to act on short notice
  7. In some theatres there is a place for an orchestra. What is this place called?
    It's also called the 'pit'. It's usually situated immediately in front of the theatre stage or under the front part of it
  8. What is the name given to the part of the theatre which is not situated on the stage and not visible to the audience?
    'Backstage' is the term used to describe the areas of the theatre whose workings can't be seen by the audience, e.g. lighting effects, dressing rooms, make-up rooms and special effects
  9. What is meant by the term 'stand-in'?
    In the world of cinema, it means a film actor’s double. Stand-ins are often used for performing stunts that are considered too dangerous for the actor to perform: that's why stuntmen are used
  10. What is meant by the expression 'curtain call'?
    Really good plays get many curtain calls

Author: Frank Evans

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