Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Term of the Day: stagehand torture device

stagehand torture device--badly designed prop or piece of scenery that is handled by a stagehand that may cause an ongoing or permanent injury to the stagehands handling it. "The bed unit in the recent production of 'Betrayal' was so heavy that the nightly shift turned it into a stagehand torture device."

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Term of the Day: a haircut

a haircut--when you cut the top off a prop or a small piece of scenery, so it can be accommodated backstage. "We had to give the bookcase unit a haircut so it would fit on the set."

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Term of the Day: good government job

good government job--job on a long-running show. Dependable pay, like the post office or some other civil service job. "Working on 'Phantom' is a good government job."

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Term of the Day: forever job

forever job--long-running Broadway shows like "Phantom of the Opera," "Lion King," "Wicked" and "Jersey Boys," where stagehands plan their retirements off of them. "Cats" felt like a forever job, but closed after 18 years.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Archaic Verb of the Day: to troupe

to troupe--to travel as a member of a theatrical company. "We trouped through Detroit and several Midwestern cities." As a noun, troupe means a group of performers, a theatrical troupe.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Term of the Moment: first cover, second cover

first cover--an actor paid to cover the star of a show, who may have no role of their own in the show. If so, they are a standby, meaning they are required to be available for every performance to cover the star, to be on standby. The standby is a principal contract and can only be on standby for principals in the show. (A standby may cover multiple principals. Sometimes by contract, the standby must be within a 15-minute walk of the theater while the performance is on.  A second cover is often an ensemble member who is rehearsed to cover the star role when the first cover is sick or on vacation.

Term of the Day: send 'em back to the hall

send 'em back to the hall--when you've ordered a stagehand from the replacement room (the hiring hall) and he or she fails to perform, you can say, "Send 'em back to the hall."