Drama Vocabulary

KS3 Glossary of Drama Vocabulary

HideShow resource information

Acting Area

Where an actor may move in full view of the audience

1 of 75

Acting Style

A particular manner of acting which reflects cultural and historical influences

2 of 75


The development of the plot in a play; the physical movement of the characters

3 of 75


How the elements of drama - literary, technical, and performance - are used

4 of 75

Back projection

When you project images onto a screen from behind. Often used for projecting scenery or special effects

5 of 75


A flat surface at the back of the acting area which sometimes has scenery painted on it

6 of 75


Turning all stage lights off at the same time

7 of 75


Everywhere an actor moves on stage (often written down in a script)

8 of 75

Body language

Showing a character's emotions or feeling in the position of your body

9 of 75


A person in a drama performance or book

10 of 75


How an actor uses body, voice, and thought to develop and portray (show) a character

11 of 75


A quality typical of a person eg. kind, funny, nervous, bad tempered

12 of 75


The movement of actors and dancers to music in a play

13 of 75


The highest point of tension in a play

14 of 75


A play with funny characters and events

15 of 75


The actor's focus, focusing on the work at hand, being in character, or being in the moment

16 of 75


When different ideas or interests happen in a performance that creates dramatic tension

17 of 75


The use of opposites, such as movement/stillness, sound/silence, and light/darkness

18 of 75


Progession of the plot ot conflict in a play

19 of 75


Spoken conversation between two or more characters

20 of 75

Eye contact

Meaning that is shown by either looking directly at something/a character or away from something/a character

21 of 75

Facial expressions

Showing a character's emotions or feeling in your face

22 of 75


To go back in time to a previous event; a flash forward would move the action into the future

23 of 75


A type of performance, story or piece of Art work. Drama is divided into many genres; comedy, tragedy, melodrama etc.

24 of 75


A type of performance, story or piece of Art work. Drama is divided into many genres; comedy, tragedy, melodrama etc.

25 of 75


Any movement of the actor's head, shoulder, arm, hand, leg, or foot to show meaning or emotion

26 of 75


The use of movement and speech to create a character in a particular situation; acting done without a script

27 of 75


Change in pitch or loudness of the voice

28 of 75


The action ot relationship between two or more characters

29 of 75


In drama, the particular manner of verbal expression, the diction or style of writing, or the speech or phrasing that suggests a class or profession or type of character

30 of 75


Acting without words

31 of 75


Copying the movement and/or expression or look of someone else exactly

32 of 75


A long speech made by one actor; a monologue may be delivered alone or in the presence of others

33 of 75


The tone or feeling of the play, often engendered by the music, setting, or lighting

34 of 75


Stage blocking or the movements of the actors onstage during performance; also refers to the action of the play as it moves from event to event

35 of 75


A style of drama that attempts to represent real life on stage

36 of 75


Rate of movement or speed of action

37 of 75

Performance elements

Includes acting (eg. character motivation and analysis, empathy), speaking (breath control, vocal expression and inflection, projection, speaking style, diction), and non-verbal expression (gesture, body alignment, facial expression, character blocking, movement)

38 of 75


The particular level of a voice, instrument or tune

39 of 75


The events of a play or arrangement of action, as opposed to the theme. See also Story line

40 of 75

Plot development

The organisation or building of the action in a play

41 of 75


Short for properties; any article, except costume or scenery, used as part of a dramatic production; any moveable object that appears on stage during a performance. See also Hand props, Personal props

42 of 75


The main character or hero in a play or other literary work

43 of 75


The actual space between characters which conveys information about the circumstances

44 of 75


The character portrayed by an actor in a drama

45 of 75

Role playing

Improvising movement and dialogue to put oneself in another's plave in a particular situation, often to examine the person(s) and/or situation(s) being improvised

46 of 75


A small section or portion of a play

47 of 75


The theatrical equipment, such as curtains, flats, backdrops, or platforms, used in a dramatic production to communicate environment

48 of 75


The physical surroundings visible to the audience, in which the action of the play takes place

49 of 75


When and where the action of a play takes place

50 of 75


The effects and audience hears during a performance to communicate character, context, or environment

51 of 75

Sound effects

Recorded: often abbreviated to FX. There are many sources for recorded sound effects, from compact discs. to downloading from internet. May form an obvious part of the action (train arriving at the station) or may be in the background throughout the scene (eg. bird chirping). Live: gunshots, door slams, and offstage voices (amongst many others) are most effective when done alive.

52 of 75


A defined area

53 of 75

Space and levels

The position and height of an actor on stage. This can show relationships and status between characters and also their importance to the audience at that point in the action

54 of 75

Special Effects

Visual or sound effects used to enhance a theatrical performance

55 of 75


The plot or plan of action

56 of 75


The shaping of dramatic material, settings, or costumes in a deliberately nonrealistic manner

57 of 75


A feeling of uncertainty as to the outcome, used to build interest and excitement on the part of the audience

58 of 75


The use of symbolic language, imagery, or colour to evoke emotions or ideas

59 of 75


A technique in creative drama in which actors create a frozen picture, as if the action were paused; plural is tableaux. Not to be confused with freeze frame, which is a term used in film and video production and which should not be used when discussing drama.

60 of 75


Relative speed or rate of movement in pace over time, eg. the speed at which the music for a dance should be played. Can be applied to dramatic contexts such as in 'tempo rhythm'

61 of 75


The atmosphere created by unresolved, disquieting, or inharmonious situations that human beings feel compelled to address; the state of anxiety the audience feels because of a threat to a character in a play

62 of 75


The basis of dramatic activity and performance; a written script or an agreed upon structure and content for an improvisation

63 of 75


An acting area or stage that may be viewed from all sides simultaneously

64 of 75


The basic idea of a play; the idea, point of view, or perception that binds together a work of art

65 of 75


A stage that extends into the audience area, with seats on three sides of a peninsula-shaped acting space

66 of 75


Includes setting cues for effects and lighting, synchronising two or more things that must happen simultaneously, and establishing the pace at which lines will be delivered or the play performed

67 of 75


A quality in the voice which expresses the speaker's feelings or thoughts, often towards the person being spoken to

68 of 75


Form of staging where the audience is on either side of the acting area

69 of 75

Turning point

The climax or high point of a story, when events can go either way

70 of 75

Vocal expression

How an actor uses his or her voice to convey character

71 of 75

Vocal projection

Directing the voice out of the body to be heard clearly at a distance

72 of 75


The combination of vocal qualities an actor uses such as articulation, phrasing, and pronunciation

73 of 75


How a performer adjusts their voice to be louder or quieter

74 of 75


Offstage areas to the right and left of the acting/onstage area

75 of 75


No comments have yet been made

Similar Drama resources:

See all Drama resources »