Fourth Wall — Lady talks theatre terminology

boxoffice indyPrrrrrrrrrt! You need a ticket before you go in to see a play. You purrrrrrchase your ticket at the Box Office.

But why is it called that? Why not call it the Ticket Office? As a meowter of fact, (or at least, of speculation) the term goes back to the 1700s!

If I stopped to count how many theatre kittens have been born since then…

One theory is that back then there were special seating areas, called boxes (there still are, in some theatres). People had to pay to sit there, of course, and so purrrrrrhaps the place where they paid became known as the Box Office. It doesn’t mean the ticket seller has to be in a box (although as every cat knows, boxes are a wonderful place to be.) So now if you hear someone speak of the Box Office, you’ll know that means the place where theatre tickets are sold.

If, purrrrhaps, you want to learn two more theatre terms, please click on “read more”…

contemplative indyIf you ever get to see a theatre stage or a television or movie set that’s all ready for a purrrrrformance, you’ll see little Ts or Xs of tape on the floor. You might think the people are messy, but that tape is a meowter of great imporrrrtance. It shows the actor where to stand for certain parts of the play or movie. It’s especially important for a movie, because if the actor isn’t standing right on that tape, the cameraperson won’t be able to film the scene the way it’s supposed to be.

Getting to that piece of tape at the right time in the scene is called “hitting the mark.” As you can see, it’s not as easy as it sounds. The actor can’t look down at the floor, and has to hit the mark while talking or perhaps even singing or dancing. Just like everything else in theatre, it takes a lot of practice. Purrrrrhaps I should keep trying…

Or purrrrrhaps it’s intermission! In most plays, there is an intermission (in some countries it’s called “the interval”) — those words both mean a time in between things. In a play, it’s often between Act One and Act Two, and it serves several purposes. On stage, it gives the actors a little time to rest, and it gives the crew a chance to change the scenery and props for Act Two. For the audience, it’s a time to sttttttrrrrrretttcccchhhhh (something cats are very good at), to walk around a bit, or to chat (no one should talk during the play itself except the actors). If you need to use the litter box, it’s best to wait until intermission. And, of course, intermission is the purrrrrfect time for a snack.

ellie at the bar copy

Are there other theatre terms you’d like to know about? Purrrrrhaps you’ll let me know in the comments.

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