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Theatre Talk Glossary

Do you want to learn even more about all things theatre? Master this glossary and you’ll be sounding like you tread the boards (appear on stage) on the regular!

All Call 

Can be either a rehearsal or a work call where all members are expected to be present.  This will be communicated as either a Cast All Call, a Crew All Call, or a Full Company All Call.

Blackbox Theater

A performance space with black walls, flexible seating, which often has lighting grid and sound system.


Direction given to actors as to where they should stand or move to during the play or musical.

Call Time

The time that all actors and crew are expected to be at the theater ready to start rehearsal or work calls.

Cast Party

A party where all cast and crew involved with a production are invited to relax and have a good time following the last show.  

Community Work Day

An open day for volunteers to help with a production.  Tasks often include sewing, painting, building and props for a main stage production.  All are welcome, including parents, siblings, friends, and alumni.  Closed-toe shoes are required for work calls. 


A run through of the show involving all participants to help smooth out transitions and technical elements.  Parts of the show may be skipped to allow more time for tightening light, sound, and transition cues. 

Costume Parade

When the actors come on stage in costumes to make sure that all the elements are working.  This also allows the Director and the Costume Designer to communicate any adjustments that need to be made.

Dress Rehearsal 

A rehearsal, typically within the last week before a show opens, where all the elements of the show are brought together, including costumes, hair and makeup, props, lights, sounds, and set.  The dress rehearsal should run exactly as the real production will run. 


The audience seating area.


A production that includes acting, singing, and dancing.  


When an actor can no longer use their script to deliver lines.

One-Act Play

A play that has only one act and no intermission.  JagTheatre often presents the “Winter One-Acts” during the fall semester.  This student-led show is directed by the Theatre 3 students and produced by Theatre 4 students.  

Paper Tech

A meeting with the Technical Director, Director, Stage Manager, and Run Crew to go through the script and make sure that all light, sound, and backstage cues are written in the Stage Manager’s script.  This is also a time where the team can brainstorm any challenging transitions and make sure everyone understands the set blocking. 

Production Meeting

Gathering of all departments (lights, costumes, props, etc.) to discuss how preparations are going.

Run Crew

The technicians that are at every performance that oversee all the technical elements for the production.  This includes both backstage run crew that might move set pieces or work the fly rail, as well as the Light and Sound Board Operators and the management team.

Pit Orchestra

In musical theatre, a group of musicians that accompanies the performers during the production.  These musicians are often located in the pit, the space under or just in front of the stage.


A production consisting of dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading.  Sometimes referred to as a “straight play” or a non-musical play.


Following the last production, the systematic dismantling and restocking of technical elements and reset of the space.  All cast and crew members are required to participate in the strike of the set, usually the night of our last show. Family and friends may also assist.  Closed-toe shoes are required for strike.


In musical theatre, the first rehearsal with singers and the pit orchestra, focusing attention on integrating the two groups. Participants sit, and vocalists stand to sing and mark movement during their cues.

Tech Week

The week before the show opens where all the elements of the show will be brought together.  Sometimes these rehearsals are longer to allow time to safely gel all the pieces together.  


All the people who work on technical crews including set, lights, sound, props, costumes, hair and makeup, and publicity for a show. 

Theatre v. Theater

Theatre with an “re” is the subject and/or company.  Theater with an “er” is the space or auditorium.  Our branding uses JagTheatre, but the sign above the main doors of the auditorium reads JagTheater.


In musical theatre, a rehearsal following the sitzprobe, during which the cast is expected to perform their full blocking and choreography as the pit orchestra plays in order to integrate the two groups and make fixes.