This comprehensive reference work is designed to be a single source to which readers may turn for guidance on dramatic theory and practice. It therefore concentrates on critical and technical concepts and terms rather than on theatre history or biography. The book contains some 1300 entries varying in length from a few words to several hundred. The terms included relate to the forms of drama (e.g. epic, mime, farce, comedy of manners, tragi-comedy, etc.); to different kinds of stage (thrust, picture-frame, arena, etc.); to technical stage terms (tabs, proscenium arch, sightlines, etc.); to acting terms, including colloquialisms (fluff, corpse-as well as duologue, soliloquy, cross below, upstage, etc.) They also include the critical terms of important theoreticians (e.g. superobjective, magic 'if', throughline, alienation, montage) and the obvious foreign terms (hamartia, peripeteia, etc.). Dramatic movements and styles are described (naturalism, expressionism, neo-classical, Jacobean, etc.), together with terms relating to costume (e.g. buskins), character types (of, say, the Commedia dell'Arte) and dramatic structure (climax, curtain, pace and tempo, episode, chorus, etc.)."
Dictionary of the Theatre: Terms, Concepts, & Analysis
Arranged alphabetically, the terms are also grouped into eight categories of the thematic index: dramaturgy, text & discourse, actor & character, genres & forms, the staging, structural principles & aesthetic questions, reception of the performance, semiology
Contains some 10,000 English-language and 5,000 foreign-language terms, historical and current, covering drama and theatre worldwide. Definitions are very brief but do cite works in the accompanying bibliography that offer fuller definitions or discussions.
"This Dictionary, the first of its kind, defines and explains over 900 terms found in the stage directions of English professional plays from the 1580s to the early 1640s. The terms are drawn primarily from surviving printed and manuscript sources, and from the plays performed on the London stage, by both minor and major dramatists. The authors draw on a database of over 22,000 stage directions drawn from around 500 such plays."