Parts of the Stage

Parts of the Stage
Flies Special Effects Cyclorama Props Wings Sound Prompt Corner Trap Crew Lighting Audience

1 Lighting

Lighting

Lights of different colours can be hung from bars on the ceiling or put on stands around the stage. Lighting provides atmosphere, and a spotlight puts a circle of bright light around solo dancers as they move across the stage.

2 Sound

Sound

The sound booth or sound box is where all the equipment for playing music and special effects are kept. The sound system for a theatre can be so complicated, that a specialist called a sound engineer is needed to operate the equipment, especially the mixing desk, which controls the volume of the music

3 Trap

Trap

Have you ever wondered how people disappear from the stage as if by magic, or appear from nowhere? A trap door is a special door in the floor of the stage, which leads down to the understage area. You can drop down through it, or climb up out of it! It might be hidden under a piece of scenery, to make the effect seem even more magical.

4 The Wings

The Wings

To the left and right of the stage are two areas which the audience can't see. This is where moveable scenery is kept, and where dancers wait before it is their turn to come on.

5 Cyclorama

Cyclorama

Nowadays, this means a large sheet of white cloth stretched across the back of the stage, which is usually strongly lit. It is usually called the 'cyc' for short (pronounced 'sike') If it wasn't there, all you'd see would be bricks!

6 Stage Manager/Crew

The Crew

The stage manager is in charge of making sure that the whole show runs smoothly. He or she does this from the prompt corner, using headphones, microphones and lots of special switches.

The crew are the people who do all the hard work - building the stage, moving or changing scenery, fixing lighting to the ceiling. They also provide help with costumes and props throughout the performance. The time when the stage is being built is called the 'get-in'. When it is being put away and taken to the next theatre, the crew say they are doing the 'get-out'.

7 Special Effects

Special Effects

Apart from lighting and scenery, there are all sorts of other things that create atmosphere. Smoke machines blow thick smoke (it's not really smoke, of course!) across the stage to give an eery or magical feel to the scene

8 Props

Props

All those things like flowers, cups, swords, fans, candles, bows and arrows or hats that dancers sometimes have to hold when they are dancing are called props (short for 'properties'). They are kept on something called a 'prop table' in the wings, so that dancers know where to find them quickly during a performance.

9 Prompt Corner

Prompt Corner

A place in in the wings where the stage manager sits. The stage manager usually has a score of the music, with all the dancers' positions and most important movements written in it. They also have a list of the precise moments when the lighting and sound effects have to happen. Every change in lighting or sound has a number, and these numbers are called cues.

It is called the prompt corner, because in plays, someone sits here with the words to the play, in case someone forgets their lines.

10 Flies

Flies

'The flies' (or the 'fly gallery') is an extension to the stage so that scenery can be lifted from the stage without the audience seeing how it is done. The flies are normally aluminium frames twice the height of the stage hidden by the wings and other scenery. People who work on the flies are called flymen.

11 Audience

The Audience

Every show needs an audience. The place they sit in is called the auditorium. It is split into different areas: the stalls which are at the front downstairs (sometimes called the 'orchestra stalls'). These are the most expensive seats. The first floor of seats is called the dress circle, the second is called the upper circle, and right at the top is the gallery or balcony. If you are a very important person, you sit in a box, which only holds a very few people, and gives a very good view of the stage.

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