Theatre Speak: Tech Week Jargon Every Theatre Pro Knows Do You?

  • October 18, 2013
Tech rehearsal is about detail.

Tech rehearsal is about detail.

All Tickets Inc. has considered technical and tech week Theatre Speak in prior blogs. In this blog we’re going to look at some basic tech week concepts and definitions that every theatre pro knows.

Warning!

The stage manager gives a “warning” prior to calling a cue. As an example, if the stage manager has a light cue coming up, they will first offer a warning to the technician who will be executing the cue. The warning occurs prior to the actual execution of the cue.

The sequence from the stage manager would be:

  • Warning Light Cue 1
  • Light Cue 1 Go
Technicians are ready to go.

Technicians are ready to go.

Depending on the type of light board being used and how complex the calling of the show may be, the stage manager may also use a standby. If that’s the case, the sequence would be:

  • Warning Light Cue 1
  • Standby Light Cue 1
  • Light Cue 1 Go

As you can probably tell, the “warning” is used to wake up the light board operator (LOB) as to the occurrence of the next cue.

Sign In

Sign in!

Sign in!

Actors and technicians must “sign in” before a performance. For actors the call is half-hour and thus they must sign in on a posted sheet that has each actor listed on it. The same is true for those working tech, but a technician’s call is different. Tech call tends to be earlier than that for actors due to the fact that those working as technicians must attend to certain checks prior to the house being opened. No matter what the case may be, those involved in a show must sign in no later than 30 minutes prior to curtain.

God Mike

The “God mike” is used by the stage manager during technical rehearsals. The stage manager, who is in charge of tech, dress, and the run of the show, will speak into a microphone that everyone can hear. Thus, if during technical rehearsals there is a stop by lighting to adjust a cue everyone will relax. When the problem is fixed and they are ready to resume the tech, the stager manager will use the God mike to let everyone know that they are starting the tech again.

Places

When a stage manager calls “places” to the cast it means that they are going to start the tech, dress, or performance within anywhere from two to three minutes. It is a universal signal that all the actors must be ready to start. It is the last call prior to starting either a rehearsal or a performance.

Speaking of Tech

How does tech work?

How does tech work?

Tech or technical rehearsals, which occur when various design and tech elements are added to a production, have their own language including 10 of 12, dry tech, wet tech, and tech-run. Tech week includes the addition of all technical elements, such as lights, sets, sound, media, special effects, and costumes. When costumes are added during the week those rehearsals are called “dress rehearsals.” On Broadway and in other venues tech week can be a lot longer than a week, however in many professional, training, and amateur venues it lasts a week or less. Whatever the case may be tech jargon in the realm of Theatre Speak is the same everywhere.

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