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BRAIL A horizontal rope, wire or chain attached at either end of a piece of scenery or lighting bar pulling it upstage or downstage of its naturally hanging position to allow another flying item to pass, or to improve its position. In a hemp house, to 'Brail' a static piece a single dead line was put round the 'short' and 'long' line to move the piece to a new position. A running brail was a breast which allowed the flown piece still to fly in or out, in its new position. More available at the link below. More on Break A Leg.

Breakaway furniture and some props are usually capable of restoration to be 'broken' again. BREAST LINE A form of brail running horizontally across the width of the stage, passed across the fly bars' suspension lines and attached at the fly floors to brail the scenery up or down stage, to create a larger space between adjacent pieces. BRIDGE 1 A walkway, giving access to technical and service areas above the stage or auditorium, or linking fly-floors.

British Sign Language website. BUSINESS A piece of unscripted or improvised action, often comic in intention, used to establish a character, fill a pause in dialogue, or to establish a scene. An author may simply suggest 'business' to indicate the need for some action at that point in the play. A video relay system, used in the theatre to give a view of the stage to remote technical operators especially stage managers.

Also used to give musical performers a view of the conductor and vice versa to help in keeping time. It's called Closed Circuit because the signal is not being broadcast anywhere - there's a direct link between camera and monitor.

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Depending on the size of the cable current carrying capacity , cables are used to supply individual lanterns, whole dimmer racks, or carry signals from a microphone etc. Using a computer to help with 2D plans and drawings, or increasingly for 3D visualisation of how a set will look, and how lighting will affect it.

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The cues are written in the prompt script. Prior to 'Beginners' the stage is the domain of the stage crew for setting up etc. After 'Beginners', the stage is the actors domain. On a production with a large orchestra, the first 'Members of the Orchestra' Call is for the 'Strings' sections to tune up together, the second call is for the remainder of the orchestra to join them in the pit. The Cue for the Overture to commence is given from the corner, by means of a cue light. The Half hour , the quarter hour , five minutes as well as Overture Beginners, are all given five minutes earlier than the actual call as named.

CANS 1 Headset earpiece, microphone and beltpack used for communication and co-ordination of technical departments during a performance. As many of the technical operators are tied to expensive pieces of equipment, headsets are often wired. However, stage management and any other crew who move around often wear wireless versions, often known as radio cans. There are interfaces between wired and wireless versions enabling both to be part of the same system.

Many headset systems have multiple channels, enabling different sub-groups to communicate separately. CAST The members of the acting company. The Cast List contains the names of the actors and the characters they'll be playing. Dramatis Personae is a Latin term for a list of the characters in a play. The performers tend to be treated as cattle and kept together in a large room and called in groups to audition. The Broadway musical "A Chorus Line" depicts such an audition.

Marked as CL on stage plans. Normally marked on the stage floor and used as a reference when marking out or assembling a set. A chalked snap line can be used to mark the line in the rehearsal room and on stage. A legal requirement when working with children and a relief for the stage management team! CHEAT An actor movement or lighting change which happens without the audience being aware of it, or a change to improve the situation even though it may not be totally natural e.

See the link below for more. More about Chewing the Scenery. Members of a claque are called claqueurs. Used for cleaning and setting up the auditorium before the house lights usually more atmospheric are switched on. Announced as 'We have Front of House Clearance'. Often marked out with measurements to aid the levelling or deading of the bottom of a flown drape or masking.

CLEAT Piece of timber or metal for tying off a rope line by taking a turn around it, followed by a series of figure eight turns and a locking tuck s made in the final turn.

Used when flying or for holding scenic pieces together with a cleat line. Submitted by Chris Higgs. It was a challenge to any member of the stage crew to throw the 'cleat line' over the top hook ' in one' i. Many a pint has been won, with the challenge 'bet you a pint you can't throw it in one!

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CLEW A ring of metal which is used to join several flying lines or wires to a single pulling wire. CLOTH A piece of scenic canvas, painted or plain, that is flown or fixed to hang in a vertical position. A Backcloth or Backdrop hangs at the rear of a scene. A Floorcloth is a painted canvas sheet placed on the stage floor to mark out the acting area, or to achieve a particular effect.

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A Frontcloth hangs well downstage, often to hide a scene change taking place behind. Cut cloths have cut-away open areas and are normally used as a series, painted in perspective. A Star Cloth also Star Drop or Starcloth usually black has a large number of small low-voltage lamps sewn or pinned through it which gives a magical starry sky effect. In the US, a cloth is known as a Drop from backdrop. In Spanish, a flown cloth is a Bambalina.

Glossary of Technical Theatre Terms – Stage Management –

In German, a floor cloth is a Bodentuch. Including performances by sometimes all of the technical staff and usually none of the actual cast, the panto is written and rehearsed towards the end of the run and is performed in the last few days of the panto, and is often followed by a party. Jokes refer to any incidents during the run of the show, and send everything up with no holds barred.

See also GO UP. Free of charge ticket issued to company members or special guests. There are often House Comps, which are good seats not sold to the public until others are sold out, which are used for VIP guests. In a building-based theatre company, the role is more administrative, dealing with payroll and other matters connected with the cast and crew of the current production s. See also Trunking. Also used to add weight to the bottom of a flown cloth. Many live event construction projects e.

UK Health and Safety Executive website. Large-scale productions have to continue wherever possible to avoid having to give the audience refunds. So if a small piece of the set fails to work or gets stuck particularly automated scenery the cast and crew will have rehearsed an alternative choreography to work around it while the crew repair it. For example in The Lord of the Rings The Musical in London, when the revolving stage with multiple lifts had a safety sensor triggered, the automation went into 'E-Stop' mode, a thunderclap sound effect was triggered, the stage lifts went to a flat floor once it had been found safe to do so and the actors for the next scene were rushed into new positions, while the actors on stage immediately adopted a new choreography.

It's vital that contingencies are worked out in advance so that as soon as something goes wrong, the show can continue, and the audience will hopefully be unaware. The control room is usually soundproofed from the auditorium so that communications between operators cannot be heard by the audience.

Project Management Toolkit

A large viewing window is obviously essential, as is a show relay system so that the performance can be heard by the operators. Obviously if sound is being mixed, the operator should be able to hear the same as the audience, so some control rooms have sliding or removable windows, or a completely separate room for sound mixing.

Where possible, the sound desk is moved into the auditorium so that the operator can hear the same as the audience. Also known as the BOX. Sometimes a 'wiggle pin' or corrugated fastener was hammered into the joint before the plate was glued and nailed in place.