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Stage (Theatre)
In theatre, the stage (sometimes referred to as the deck in stagecraft) is a designated space for the performance of theatrical productions or other events. The stage serves as a space for actors or performers and a focal point for the members of the audience. As an architectural feature, the stage may consist of a platform (often raised) or series of platforms. In some cases, these may be temporary or adjustable but in theaters and other buildings devoted to such productions, the stage is often a permanent feature.
There are four types of stages that vary as to the usage and the relation of the audience to them.
The most common form found in the West is the proscenium stage. In this type, the audience is located on one side of the stage with the remaining sides hidden and used by the performers and technicians.
Thrust stages may be similar to proscenium stages but with a platform or performance area that extends into the audience space so that the audience is located on three sides.
In theatre in the round, the audience is located on all four sides of the stage.
The fourth type of stage incorporates created and found stages which may be constructed specifically for a performance or may involve a space that is adapted as a stage.
History of the Stage
In the earliest history of theatre, stages often were simply designated performance areas within a village. As theatre is often derived from religious rites, these areas held special significance and meaning within the tribe. The first elaborate theatrical stages are found in Ancient Greece where stages were originally threshing floors which developed into large, open-air ampitheaters with permanent stages. These same theatre layouts were adopted by the Romans who spread them across Europe. Small portable stages called wagons were common in the Middle Ages and were used for mystery plays and miracle plays in cathedrals as well as outside in villages. Similar stages were used by Commedia dell'arte troupes in Italy which spread over the continent over the next few centuries.
Stage (theatre). (2007, January 28). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:27, February 1, 2007, from
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