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Design Sets Like The Pros

4. Stage Lingo


The students will demonstrate their understanding of stages, sets and terminology by participating in educational activities.

Materials Needed

“Crossword” handout, model/pictorial examples of different sets

Related Documents

Set Designs
Stage Directions Handout
Stage Terms Crossword Key
Stage Terms Crossword Puzzle
Types of Sets Handout
Types of Stages Handout

Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook

Pass out a crossword puzzle with the definitions of stage terminology and have the students discover the answers. They can use textbooks and ask questions of anyone but the teacher. Make it a competition by timing it and giving some reward to the winner.


Step 1: What made it difficult to finish the crossword quickly? What would make it easier to do? Knowing the information is important.

Step 2: Take the students into the theatre and point out the different stage items. (Apron, Traps, Revolve, Wings, Fly System, Grand Drape, Legs, Cyc, Teasers, Scrim, etc.) Then go over the stage directions (D, R, L, C, U) with them.

Step 3: Have the students stand on the stage. Explain to them that you are going to call out stage directions or stage items. If it is a stage direction, they should go to that location on the stage. If it is a stage item, they need to go to the area and point to it. Use the crossword clues and answers to call out the stage items.

Step 4: Once you have seen that the students know the basic directions and terms, have them sit at the front of the stage and discuss the different types of stages.

Step 5: Grab some students to help you demonstrate the location of audience members in a theatre. For an arena theatre, have students stand in a circle. For a thrust stage, have the students create three connecting lines as if they are sitting around the stage. If you call out Proscenium, have the students stand in a line facing one direction.

Step 6: Once the instructions have been given, have the whole class participate. Call out the different types of stages.

Step 7: Once the students have demonstrated their understanding, have them re-convene in the classroom. Ask the students what types of shows those stage would work the best for.


Step 8: Hand out the “Pictorial Examples of Various Sets” paper. Talk about what is on the paper. Ask the students what sets would work on what stages. Ask them what sets would work for different types of shows.