Back Drop: A large piece of canvas hung from a batten and painted to represent a particular scenic element. Also called a Drop.
Back To One: Starting from your first position of action in a scene.
Background Actor/Performance/Player: Extras, atmosphere, non-principal performers. Extras are commonly referred to as background. In a scene however, background refers to the action that the extras will need to make.
Background Music: Music accompanying action on the screen, but coming from no discernible source within the film.
Backing Flat: A flat which stands behind a window or door in the set.
Backstage: The area away for the acting area, including the dressing rooms and the green room. Also called Offstage.
Back-Up: A performer hired to work only if the designated principal doesn't perform satisfactorily.
Banjo: A rail along which a curtain runs.
Bar: An aluminum pipe suspended over the stage on which lanterns are hung.
Barn Door: An arrangement of four metal leaves placed in front of the lenses of certain kinds of spotlight to control the shape of the light beam.
Batten: A bar made of wood or steel from which scenery, lights, or curtains may be hung and flown in and out. Also called Pipe.
Beam Projector: A type of lighting instrument that has no lens, used to emit a powerful beam of light with diffused light.
Beam Spread: Lighting term: the area that a given lantern covers. It is usually expressed as the angle that the beam subtends at the focal plane: the smaller the angle, the narrower the beam.
Beamlight: Lighting term: a type of lantern which produces a parallel beam of light. In construction rather like a car headlamp, being a sealed-beam unit. Also known as a PARCAN or PARBLAZER.
Beauty Shot: On television soap operas, the shot over which the credits are rolled.
Beginners: Those members of the cast who are on-stage when the curtain goes up. The call "Overture and beginners" is a signal to the orchestra to start the introductory music and to the cast to get into position on-stage.
Best Boy: In films, the assistant to the Electrician.
BIO: A resume in narrative form for a printed program or press release.
Blacklight: Ultra-violet light. Can be in bulb or, more usually, tube form.
Blackout: Lighting term: switching all lights out at once, leaving the stage in complete darkness. See also DBO.
Blacks: Black curtains at the back and sides of the stage.
Blocking: Planning the movement in a scene. The planned physical movements by actors in a scene.
Board: Another name for a control desk, either lighting (most usually) or sound.
Book (The): A copy of the script, kept by the Stage Manager, which includes all cues and notes. Also known, usually in amateur theatre, as the "prompt copy."
Book Flat: Two flats hinged together in order to be self-supporting when folded on the hinge.
Booking: A firm commitment to a performer to do a specific job.
Boom: A long mobile beam or pole used to hold a microphone or camera.
Borders: In scenery, material hung at the top of the set to hide fly system from the audience. Also called Teasers.
Box Office: The place where the tickets are sold. Also used colloquially to mean the size of the audience ("What's the box office like tonight?")
Box Set: A set which consists of three walls, around a proscenium arch stage. The proscenium opening is the fourth wall. Also known as a "room set".
Break Character: When an actor says or does anything that is on in keeping with the character.
Breakaway: A prop or set piece specifically designed to shatter or break easily.
Breakdown: A detailed listing and description of roles available for casting in a production.
Bump: Money given for performing a certain action on camera in a scene, over and above your base wage.
Bury: To hide someone or something out of sight in a scene.
Buyout: An offer of full payment in advance in lieu of residuals, when the contract permits.

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