A theatre is where plays and other forms of entertainment, such as ballet or opera, are staged. A theatre can be as simple as a piece of ground outdoors or a huge and complex theatre building designed especially for staging plays. A major production requires a number of different staff, from the director and producer to stage hands.
A Large Theatre
New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, known as the Met, is a big theatre. The auditorium – the place where the audience sits – can hold up to 3,800 people. Every time a performance is put on, the theatre employs about 1,000 people.
The clothes the performers wear are called costumes. They are designed carefully because fabric looks different on stage, under lights, than in daylight. The costume designer works with the lighting designer and set designer.
The person who designs the layout of the stage and the scenery is called the set designer. A set designer often makes a scale model so others can see the design.
The people who produce the scenery are known as set builders. Some may be stage carpenters working with wood. Others may be skilled scenery painters, plasterers or steel welders. A set is often built in a workshop, then assembled on the stage.
The people who run the sound, lighting, scenery and special effects, such as stage smoke, during a play are stage hands. They are also responsible for props. These are objects used in the play, such as a suitcase or tray.
The people who take care of the costumes for a play or ballet are called dressers. They keep the clothes clean and mend them if they are torn or damaged. Dressers also help the performers get dressed. They may need to help them make a quick change, sometimes in the wings (the sides of the stage, out of sight of the audience).
Question and Answers About Theatre
- Stage carpenters work with wood. True or false?
- Stage hands are normally in charge of the actors’ costumes. True or false?
Answer: False (dressers are in charge of the costumes)
- Does a costume designer or set designer plan the layout of the stage?
Answer: Set designer
- Set builders build theatre scenery. True or false?
- Is stage smoke a type of special effect?
- Whar ‘C’ is the name for the clothing that performers wear?
- Does a costume designer work with a set designer?
- Which ‘D’ cleans and mends the costumes?
Answer: The dresser
- Does the Metropolitan Opera House require 200, 500 or 1.000 staff to put on a performance?
- Is the place where the audience sit called the wings, backstage or the auditorium?
Answer: The auditorium
- On stage, what would a suitcase be considered; a set, costume or prop?
Answer: A prop
- Are the sides of a stage out of the audience’s view called the wings, upstage or front of house? Answer: The wings
- New York’s Metropolitan Opera House is also known as what: The Op House. The Met or The Big Stage?
Answer: The Met
- Rearrange AT BELL to name a type of performance that may need a dresser.
- Where are sets often assembled?
Answer: On the stage
- What is the largest number of people that can watch a single performance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House?
Answer: 3,800 people
- Which theatre staff sometimes help actors make quick costume changes?
- Who uses scale models of the stage in their work?
Answer: The set designer