Encore – the repeat of a well received song due to audience applause; also, an additional song added to the end of a performance because of audience applause.
Ensemble – a group of more than two performers performing together or alternating solos or duets where no single individual is featured above any other.
Equity – see Actor’s Equity Association.
Farce – a comic play or musical that is built on broad humor and improbable plot.
First run – the first series of performances of a play or musical between opening night and the closing show.
Flop – an unsuccessful show, usually indicated by poor attendance, ticket-sales and ultimately financial loss to the producers of the show.
Fly – to raise or lower a backdrop, curtain or set into an open area above the stage known as the fly area.
Foreshadowing – a portion of a musical idea or melody which hints at its complete appearance at a later place in the musical; often connected with a specific character, significant situation or emotion.
Heavy book – a show that’s staging demands are technically complex, with significant lighting, set or costume requirements
Hit – a successful musical or play, measured in audience attendance, ticket sales and financial profit for the producers and financial backers.
Hoofer – slang term for a dancer, particularly used for vaudeville dancers.
House – slang for the number of people in the audience for a performance; also can signify the response of the audience, as in “we got a great house tonight.”
Impresario – term used in the 19th-century and early 20th-century for a producer, the person responsible for organizing financial backing, making overall staffing and often-creative decisions in the production. (See producer)
Improvisation – a portion of a play or musical where a performer, either by design or to cover an error, spontaneously “ad libs” lines or music to fill time.
Incidental music – music written and performed for a non-musical play to provide connection between scenes or acts; also can be written to underscore dialogue or blocking in a musical show.
Integrated – a term used to designate songs written for specific plot situations or to be sung by specific characters in a play.
Introduction – instrumental music played at the beginning of a song before the vocalist begins to sing.