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Performance 101

  • Artistic Director - The director of the ballet company and its productions.

  • Backstage - The entire area behind the stage.

  • Call Time - The time at which you are required to be at the theater per rehearsal schedule.

  • Crew - The people who work backstage in the theater under the direction of the stage manager. The crew includes stagehands who move scenery and props, operate the fly rail, build and set the scenery, handle lighting, and operate sound.

  • Double Cast - Refers to a role that is shared between two or more cast members.

  • Understudy - A dancer that trains alongside cast members to learn a specified role.  Understudies may be called upon to step into a role if needed. Being cast as an understudy is a privilege that allows the dancer an opportunity to further develop their skills. Understudies attend all rehearsals and costume fittings for the role. If scheduled rehearsals overlap, dancers give first priority to roles in which they were cast, and second priority to understudy roles.  

  • Dressing Area - Space where dancers change into and out of costumes during tech week rehearsals and performances.

  • Dress Rehearsal - A theater rehearsal in full costume, including stage makeup and hair, during which the entire show is rehearsed without stopping. Dress rehearsals are treated exactly the same as a performance, with no audience. Also called full dress or final dress.

  • Full Run Through - A studio rehearsal in which an entire act or show is rehearsed with all cast members; sometimes rehearsed out of show order with frequent stops, corrections and directions.

  • House - The entire area in front of the stage, from where the audience sits all the way through lobby areas, etc.

  • Notes - Observations and instructions given directly to cast members by the artistic director or ballet master at conclusion of theater rehearsals. Notes are usually given on stage. Notes are not usually given after performances.

  • Stage Left - The left side of the stage when facing the audience.

  • Stage Right - The right side of the stage when facing the audience.

  • Upstage - The rear part of the stage further away from the audience.

  • Downstage - The front part of the stage closer to the audience.

  • Wings - Area beyond drapes at each side of the stage; designed to keep crew & dancers getting on and off stage out of the audience’s line of vision. 

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