C Clamp A clamp with asleeved bolt used to attach a lighting instrument to a pipe batten.
Cabaret Originally, a night club type establishment where poets, artists and musicians performed their work. Cabarets had a political impact in France, Germany and Russia in the 1920's and 30's. In the modern sense, a cabaret is simply entertainment presented to any audience in night-clubs, hotel-restaurants or at official dinners.
Call Board Bulletin board near stage door entrance for posting audition notices, casting calls, rehearsal schedules and the like.
Carnival Literally, carnem vale, or "farewell to meat", carnival is the pre-lenten festival of the Christian world. Carnival was one of the more significant Christian holidays that, through its pageants and presentations, kept the art of theatre alive during the Middle Ages.
Catwalk A narrow walkway suspended between "fly floors", the raised areas from which scenery and drops were flown (and still is at the Lyric) before the adoption of the counterweight system.
Circus In Imperial Rome, the "ring" in which chariot races, feats of arms and animal exhibitions were held. In its modern sense, dating from the 18th century, it is the successor to the itinerant troupes of actors, acrobats and performers that roamed Europe in the Middle Ages.
Claque An organized band of applauders.
Climax In the traditonal dramatic sense, the most powerful moment in a play, following which the denouement occurs.
Cloth In the U.S., we refer to this as a "drop". Usually a painted piece of canvas or muslin flown in to represent scenery. It may also be of plain cloth or scrim material.
Color Frame The square metal frame that is designed to hold a colored gel, and which is dropped into a holder attached to the front of a lighting instrument.
Comedy From the Greek, "revel-song", it originally referred to satiric plays of Aristophanes and Menander, as distinguished from the more pastoral "satyr plays" that may have pre-dated Dionysian tragedies. Often deriving their satirical or humorous nature from topical subjects, comedy is not as "ageless" as tragedies. In the more modern sense, the term applies to any play with a happy ending.
Commedia dell'Arte Literally "comedy of the profession", Commedia dell'Arte originated in Northern Italy and was more popular in that country and France than in England. The emphasis is on stock characters with which the audience is familiar. Distinguished from amateur touring troupes.
Community Theatre In its modern sense, refers to organizations of amateurs in a particular region or community who produce and perform plays. Community theatre as we know it traces its beginnings to the turn of the century and has seen tremendous growth in the last fifty years.
Comos See, Komos. In addition to being an alternate spelling of Komos, this was the name first given to the Lryic Theatre -- the home of Tupelo Community Theatre -- when it was built in 1912.
Conflict The dramatic tension created by opposing forces in a play.
Copyright Ownership of and the right to control all aspects of reproducing a work. We have a number of links to sites with information on all aspects of copyright.
Corpsing Primarily a British term -- "corpsing" refers to an actor mugging or otherwise drawing attention to themselves when, in fact, they are supposed to be "dead".
Costume Clothing and accessories worn by an actor in to signify period and portray character. While we often emphasize scenery and effects in today's theatre, costume can often be more important to an actor's creation of a role. In early theatre, scenery was eschewed in favor of costume.
Counterweight Originally sandbags, but now more often metal weights used to counterbalance scenery or a drop hung or "flown" from the grid. Has largely replaced hand working, or manually raising and lowering such pieces.
Criticism Contemporary analysis or review of a play or dramatic work. Criticism was largely unknown until the 16th Century, with most analysis being confined to academic works. In the last three hundred years criticism has played an increasingly important role in shaping the direction of theatre.
Cue The words or actions at which an actor is expected to deliver a line or a crew member is expected to perform some task.
Cue Sheet A list of cues from which a stage manager, lighting operator or sound technician works.
Curtain Sometimes referred to as the " grand drape" or "main drape", the curtain is a screen, usually made of cloth, used to separate the stage from the auditorium.
Curtain Call The final appearance of the cast, at the end of the play, to receive the applause of the audience.
Curtain Raiser A one-act play performed before the main play in the 19th Century.
Curtain Set A set consisting simply of drapery or curtains at the back and sides of the stage. An example of a curtain set can be found in Arthur Millers The Crucible.
Cyclorama A curved wall at the back of the stage upon which light can be thrown to create effects -- many times to simulate the sky. Also called a "cyc".