A to Z Challenge – R is for Radio, Rain Box, Redhead and Run

I had so much fun yesterday checking out all the pages at Theatrecrafts, I thought I would go back again and see what they had to offer for the letter “r”. There were a lot more entries than for “q”, so I picked just a few to mention here.

In theatre terminology a RADIO MIC means something totally different.

Device consisting of a microphone head, transmitter pack with batteries, aerial and mains receiver unit which allows actors and singers to be amplified with no visible means of connection. Almost universally used in musicals where the singers have to be amplified to be heard over the orchestra / band. Used in non-musical shows for sound reinforcement.

Some of my players at our community theatre keep asking when we will get some of these mics, and I tell them as soon as we find an “angel” to help support us. Then maybe we will have real stage lights, too.

A box or tray containing dried peas etc which produces a rain sound effect when inclined

We have never used a Rain Box, but we did come up with some interesting sound effects for our production of “War of the Worlds” last fall that we staged as a 1940s radio show. The sound of a dead body falling was made by dropping a duffle bag that had a bowling ball in it.

Audience seating area which is sloped, with it’s lowest part nearest the stage.

A sloping stage which is raised at the back (upstage) end. All theatres used to be built with raked stages as a matter of course. Today, the stage is often left flat and the auditorium is raked to improve the view of the stage from all seats. 


We have neither a raked stage or a raked auditorium. Our stage is flat, which helps because we do not have to cut off part of the legs of our furniture when we set the stage. Imagine what would happen on a raked stage if a chair was not put in the right spot during a quick set change. Our set up is more like the Black Box Theatre arrangement mentioned in yesterday’s post.

800W open-faced adjustable flood lamp used in film / TV lighting. So-called because of it’s red paint finish. See also BLONDE.

I thought it was so interesting that these lights were named for hair coloring. Alas, we have no redheads or blondes in our lighting scheme. We do have colored gels that are sometimes put over a light for effect.

1) A sequence of performances of the same production. (e.g. ‘How long is the run of this show?’ or ‘This show runs for two weeks’)
2) A rehearsal of the whole show or a section of it (e.g.’This afternoon’s rehearsal will be a run of Act II followed by notes’). Run-throughs early in the rehearsal schedule are sometimes known as STAGGERS as actors are unsure of their lines.

I had never heard the term “Staggers” before, but it is very appropriate. Sometimes even for the actual run. Often lines are dropped during a performance and good actors will improvise and get the show back on track. I thought this only happened in amateur productions, but I have found out that it happens to the professionals as well. A good player can work around the dropped line, or lines, and the audience is non the wiser. Unless they come to every performance and take notes. (smile)

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