How to Understand Basic Theatre Terms

If you want to work in a theater or learn acting on the stage, it essential you know basic terminology of theater. Without knowing the terms used, you may not have a chance to survive on the stage. If you learning to act or being taught any subject related to theater, you will surely come across terminology related to physical expression, psychological and emotional states, dialogue delivery or vocals for performing any other role.

For you to grasp these terms without studying theater will be very difficult indeed. It certainly is a time-consuming process. Also, you will be required to start working in a theater from basic, and that too if you have some extraordinary talent and acting skills.  In this age of modern theater it is highly recommended you enter into the field through proper route and that is studying theater at a school. With a diploma or a degree in acting and theater, you can find it easier to grasp the technical terms of theater and fit in any role comfortably.


  • 1


    If you want to be a part of theater in any capacity, you should have a clear objective or objectives in your mind. Setting a goal what you want to achieve out of what you are planning to do at theater will help you to achieve your objectives. Without being aware of your objectives you cannot progress through different sections or departments of theater and your learning can remain restricted to a very limited extent. So know your career goals beforehand.

  • 2

    Tactics or Strategy

    Once you are aware of your objectives, you can have a plan, strategy or tactics to work towards that goal. This part is closely linked to objectives, and you can achieve those objectives while working and progression within the theater environment step by step. This will set you on the path learning and growth, and as you learn and grow, you can even achieve a level of excellency about theaters.

  • 3

    Physical Action

    In addition to being told or taught, you can keep yourself updated about learning of theater terminology while working or acting, and this is the actual physical action or acting that helps you pick various technical terms. It is likely that you have forgotten many terms, which you had studied at the art school, and while acting with other actors and in a practical environment, many terms are quickly return to your memory.

  • 4


    A major part of theater work involves emotions or expressions. So it is not just literary learning about terms and techniques of theater, it is picking from expressions and emotions. All the emotions are described in the written and while performing them you become aware of terminologies that are used to explain them.

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