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Stage Directions for Actors: The Basics
Every play has some degree of stage direction written into the script. Stage directions serve many functions, but their primary purpose is to guide actors’ movements on the stage, called blocking.
These notations in the script, written by the playwright and set aside with brackets, tell the actors where to sit, stand, move about, enter, and exit. Stage directions also can be used to tell an actor how to shape his or her performance. They may describe how the character behaves physically or mentally and are often used by the playwright to guide the play’s emotional tone. Some scripts also contain notations on lighting, music, and sound effects.
Defining Common Stage Directions
Stage directions are written from the perspective of the actor facing the audience. An actor who turns to his or her right is moving stage right, while an actor who turns to his or her left is moving stage left.
The front of the stage, called downstage, is the end closest to the audience. The rear of the stage, called upstage, is behind the actor’s back, furthest from the audience. These terms come from the structure of stages in the Middle Ages and early modern period, which were built on an upward slope away from the audience to improve viewer visibility. “Upstage” refers to the section of the stage that was higher, while “downstage” refers to the area that was lower.
Stage Direction Abbreviations
From the rear of the stage to the audience, there are three zones: upstage, center stage, and downstage. These are each divided into three or five sections, depending on the size. If just three sections, there will be a center, left, and right in each. When in the center stage zone, right or left may be referred to simply as stage right and stage left, with only the very middle of the stage being referred to as center stage.
If the stage has been divided into 15 sections instead of nine, there will be a “left-center” and “right-center” in each section, for five possible locations in each of the three zones.
When you see stage directions in published plays, they are often in abbreviated form. Here’s what they mean:
DR: Downstage right
DRC: Downstage right-center
DC: Downstage center
DLC: Downstage left-center
DL: Downstage left
RC: Right center
LC: Left center
UR: Upstage right
URC: Upstage right-center
UC: Upstage center
ULC: Upstage left-center
UL: Upstage left
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The Use of Stage Directions in "The Glass Menagerie" – Stage directions are directions given to the actor(s) by the director. They involve the physical movement of the actors on stage. The actors are supposed to note the directions in their scripts.Direction is an essential constituent of a play. A well-directed story is more effective. Stagecraft defines how the play is presented to the audiences. The use and organization of stage properties and the overall setting of a play are a part of stagecraft, which is a key element of drama.What is the primary purpose of these stage directions? to show interactions between characters to direct actions that take place onstage to describe a character's appearance to indicate a character's tone of voice
Trifles: The rise of modern feminism on the stage, part 1 – SHERIFF (unbuttoning his overcoat and stepping away from the stove as if to the beginning of official business). What is the primary purpose of these stage directions? to show interactions between characters to direct actions that take place onstageThe purpose of these directions is to address the serious public health risk posed to the State of Victoria by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The Stay Safe Directions (Victoria) (No 18) come into force at 6:00pm on 26 March 2021 and replace the Stay Safe Directions (Victoria) (No 17).What is the primary purpose of these stage directions? to further establish the time period to indicate a character's tone of voice to direct actions that take place onstage to describe a character's thoughts LOGIN TO VIEW ANSWER