Theatrical Logic

(makes most sense to a US reader)

In is down, down is front
Out is up, up is back
Off is out, on is in
And of course –
Left is right and right is left
A drop shouldn’t and a
Block and fall does neither
A prop doesn’t and
A cove has no water
Tripping is OK
A running crew rarely gets anywhere
A purchase line buys you nothing
A trap will not catch anything
A gridiron has nothing to do with football
Strike is work (In fact a lot of work)
And a green room, thank god, usually isn’t
Now that you’re fully versed in Theatrical terms,
Break a leg.
But not really.

Author unknown


Explanation / Translation

In is down [flying an object downwards is called flying it in], down is front [downstage is at the front of the stage, nearest the audience]
Out is up [flying an object upwards is called flying it out], up is back [upstage is at the rear of the stage, furthest from an end-on audience]
Off is out [moving offstage is leaving the stage], on is in [moving onstage is entering the audiences’ view]
And of course –
Left is right [stage left is right from the audience perspective] and right is left [stage right is left from the audience perspective]
A drop shouldn’t [a backdrop (painted cloth / scenery) shouldn’t fall down] and a
Block and fall [pulley and rope or wire] does neither
A prop [object carried by the actor] doesn’t and
A cove [lighting rigging position hidden from the audience] has no water
Tripping [flying a cloth from the bottom as well as the top when there isn’t enough height to fly it out directly] is OK
A running crew [stage crew that work on each performance] rarely gets anywhere
A purchase line [wire or rope connected to a counterweight used to balance the weight of scenery in a flying system] buys you nothing
A trap [trap door in the stage] will not catch anything
A gridiron [the support structure close to the top of the fly tower on which the pulleys of the flying system are supported] has nothing to do with football
Strike [dismantling the set at the end of a scene or performance] is work (In fact a lot of work)
And a green room [offstage room where actors can relax / wait for cues], thank god, usually isn’t
Now that you’re fully versed in Theatrical terms,
Break a leg [means Good Luck when said to an actor]
But not really.