Purgatory Playhouse, a M/M Fantasy Rom-Com

Cover design by Alexandria Corza

Since I’ve included a bit of theater jargon in Purgatory Playhouse, I figured it would only be polite to explain some of it! This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but I hope it creates sufficient context.




Theater Glossary

The script of a musical (excluding music and lyrics).

come down
To close a show.

In theater rigging, counterweights are used to offset the weight of flying scenery, so that stagehands can raise and lower it easily.

A technical rehearsal that jumps from one technical cue (lighting, sound, scenery, etc.) to the next without running the intervening scenes.

In stage directions, toward the audience. (Stages used to be raked, with the lowest part near the audience, hence “down.”)

electric pipe
A batten (pipe), part of the theater rigging, that’s expressly wired for lighting instruments.

The more modern term for chorus—supporting actors in a musical who sing and dance but probably have few (if any) lines.

final dress
The last rehearsal before the first public performance of a play; full costumes, makeup, and technical effects.

A scenic element (wooden frame, typically covered with scenic canvas) that’s part of a set, usually walls.

The area above the stage, masked from the audience; the location of flying scenery and rigging.

fly gallery
A backstage catwalk above the stage floor where the rigging (counterweight system) is operated.

Acronym for “special effects.”

go up
1) To open a show.
2) To forget one’s lines.

green room
The backstage area where actors and crew can relax; theater equivalent of a break room.

A stagehand who moves furniture and/or props during a production.

The auditorium where the audience sits to watch a play.

A stage light (of which there are many types).

method actor
A performer who subscribes to emotionally-driven (“inside-out”) acting techniques; anecdotally unpredictable; “method” originally referred to the Stanislavski Method, after its originator, Konstantin Stanislavski.

mount a show
To produce a play.

orchestra pit
The area in front of the stage, below stage level, where the orchestra sits and performs; may also be used for other purposes when a show has no orchestra.

pit singer
An offstage singer (often in the orchestra pit) who supplements the voices of onstage musical actors and dancers, who might be too out of breath to handle their songs.

The arch that frames the stage from the perspective of the audience.

“set props”
To place props in the appropriate places for actors to use during their performance. Often this is done by a stagehand, but depending on the production, performers may either set their own props or at least check that they’re in place.

stage house
The parts of the theater upstage of the proscenium arch.

stage left/stage right
Stage directions are from the perspective of the actor facing the audience; stage left is the actor’s left while facing downstage; stage right is the actor’s right.

To tear down/dismantle/store the technical elements of a show (set, costumes, lights) after its final performance.

A short, horizontal curtain that defines the top of the stage and masks lights and battens from the audience.

tech week
The week (sometimes shorter or longer) prior to opening when all technical elements are integrated into the show.

A long masking curtain (“leg”), usually black, at the side of the stage immediately behind the main curtain.

A trap door.

trap room
A large open space under the stage.

“tread the boards”
To act in a play, the “boards” being the stage.

In stage directions, toward the rear of the stage, away from the audience. (Stages used to be raked, so the back of the stage was higher than the front, hence “up.”)

The areas to either side of the stage performing area, usually masked from audience view.