Theatre jargon – what’s your favourite?

4 March, 2011 by 1 Comment

Just hanging out this morning on the Twitter stream, and especially with the #2amt crowd, when the always interesting @DramaDaily wanted to know what ‘to dry’ meant. The information came back fairly quickly.

She’s based in the US and apparently that term isn’t well known there. It means to forget your lines and is quite a common bit of theatre jargon in Australia and the UK. I recall working on a show in the US years ago when they started talking about the ‘get-in.’ I hadn’t a clue at first what this meant, but then realised it probably had something to do with what we call the ‘bump-in.’ Sure enough – same thing.

@DramaDaily then found the term ‘to corpse’ or ‘to go up’ – uncontrolled laughing on stage when you shouldn’t be – and started on a hunt to find where these terms had come from. It all started a bit of a flurry of interest and so I asked what people’s favourite bits of theatre jargon were. Here are some of the responses. What are yours? Add them below or tweet on!

Mine, by the way, is ‘bump-in’

[blackbirdpie id=”!/DramaDaily/statuses/43450344654651392″]


[blackbirdpie id=”!/HESherman/statuses/43480856651767808″]


[blackbirdpie id=”!/stevenmitchellw/statuses/43480789379317760″]


[blackbirdpie id=”!/meganshorey/statuses/43477171045531649″]


If you’re on Twitter and you don’t know about 2amt (‘2 am theatre’) you can follow them @2amt on Twitter and read some of the more thoughtful, extended conversations on the 2amt: thinking outside the black box blog.

One Reply to “Theatre jargon – what’s your favourite?”

  1. Kate Foy says:

    Theatre Pap in Montreal offered ‘faire le crabe.’ We asked. It means to use walkers as the lighting designer focuses the lamps etc. Love the image of a crab walking back and forwards and sideways etc.