Pace The rate at which a scene or act is played.
Pageant In medieval times the word referred to the carts which were decorated by various guilds and used in processions on holidays. These carts were basically portable stages upon which stylized scenes from religious plays were acted out. In modern usage the term derives more from the elaborate, semi-professional open air productions which became popular at the beginning of the 20th Century. These usually celebrate the history or legends of a particular community.
Pantomime From the Latin pantomimus, or "player of many parts". Through misunderstanding it came to mean description of a story by means of expression and movement only.
Pin Connector Sometimes called a stage plug. A two or three prong connector used to join cables, lighting instruments and dimmers together.
Pin Rail A part of the fly-loft in some theatres in which belaying pins are inserted and to which hand worked lines from the scenery are run, controlled and tied off.
Pipe Batten A metal pipe suspended from the grid and from which lighting instruments or scenery is hung.
Places As in "Places, please". The command given by the stage manager directing the actors and crew to assume their positions immediately prior to the commencement of a performance.
Platform A raised box or rostrum used to elevate actors upstage.
Play Any work written to be acted, and entirely or mainly spoken. Derives from the Latin word ludus meaning, literally, "play" or recreation. A play may contain elements of musical performance, but if the music becomes the paramount means of telling the story, the it is referred to as Opera.
Playbill Form of theatrical adverdisement. Playbills can refer both to large posters used to promote a play or performance, as well as the program or booklet containing theatre news and information about a particular production.
Plot The plan or arrangement of incidents in a play.
Practical Scenery, props or lighting that will be used by actors during the play. A practical door is one which an actor can open as opposed to a door built merely for show.
Prologue Introductory speech or poem that introduced the play and explained or commented on the action which was to take place. Together with the epilogue, which closed the play, prologues were used extensively in Restoration theatre, but have fallen into disuse in modern drama.
Prompt To give actors their line. As actors move off book, the prompter follows the dialogue in a prompt book and, if an actor calls for his or her "line", the prompter provides a portion of the line to help the actor remember.
Prompt Book The script used by the prompter to give actors their lines during rehearsals.
Properties All physical items on stage with the exception of the scenery. This would include lamps, chairs, pens, paper, books and all manner of such things. Heavier items such as sofas, desks, etc., are really more a part of the scenery.
Proscenium The opening in a "picture frame" stage. Came into use in Restoration theatre, replacing the thrust stage of Elizabethan theatre and was a standard feature of stages from the 17th Century until open or thrust stages, as well as theatres in the round came into extensive use again in the 20th Century. The proscenium stage was much influenced by the design of theatre houses designed Italy from the 16th Century forward. The proscenium helped to hide the machinery and equipment used to change settings in a production.
Protagonist In modern theatre, the leading actor of a play, who is often set in conflict with an antagonist. The term derives from ancient Greek theatre in which it described the first actor to speak. Originally, Greek theatre consisted of one principal actor and a chorus. As two and then three actors were added, they were referred to as the Protagonist, Deuteragonist, and Tritagonist.