C D E F
G H I J
K L M N
O P Q R S
T U V W
P&G: Performers who have a
clean-cut, all-American look as commonly favored by Proctor & Gamble
for its commercials or soap operas.
PA: Production Assistant, an entry-level producer position.
Pace: The tempo of the performance.
Pan: A shot in which a stationary camera turns horizontally, revealing
Pantomime: Mouthing words in a scene when there is dialogue being
recorded as the action takes place.
Paper Tech: A meeting between director, designers, and stage management
to define and record the series of technical events required to operate
Par Can: A type of lantern which projects a near parallel beam
of light, much used by rock bands. The lamp is a sealed-beam unit (like
car headlights) fitted inside the "can". Available, usually,
in 300W or 1kw power, they are sometimes known as parblazers, while lighting
manufacturer Strand calls them "beamlights".
Parallel Editing: (See Cross-Cutting.)
Patch Panel: The board on which one connects circuits to dimmers.
Patch: To connect a circuit to a dimmer.
Pay or Play: A job for which an actor is guaranteed to be paid
regardless of actual work.
Pebble Convex: A type of spotlight , with a harder-edged beam than
a fresnel but softer than a profile . They have a convex lens with a pebbled
rear surface. Strand call their PC lanterns "prism convex".
Per Diem: Set fee paid by producer on location shoots to compensate
performer for expenditures and for meals not provided by the producer.
Perch: A place for hanging lanterns, on the side wall of the theatre
Periaktoi: Three-sided flats that can be rotated to depict three
Perspective: The way objects appear to the eye in terms of their
relative positions and distances.
Phantom Power: A means of powering certain condenser microphones.
A current of (usually) 48 volts is sent along the mic cable from the mixing
desk or, where the mixer does not have phantom power facilities, from
a phantom power box, into which the mic is plugged and which, in turn,
plugs into the mixer.
Phono Plug: A type of connector used on some sound equipment, usually
domestic HiFi or video gear.
Photo Double: To be photographed as the principal actor in a scene
when the actors' face or look is not necessary.
Pick Up: An added take because of some type of problem with a scene
or camera shot.
Pilot: The first or maiden show introducing the characters and
series situations for a potential television series.
Pin Rail: A rail connected to the fly gallery used in the securing
of fly lines. Also called the Fly Rail.
Pin Spot: Either a small (usually 100W) spotlight used for special
effects (i.e. with a mirror ball) or, more usually in the theatre, a follow-spot
with its iris diaphragm closed to its smallest diameter to illuminate,
for instance, just a face.
Pit: The area below the front of the stage. May be used to house
the orchestra. Also called Orchestra Pit.
Pixilation: A technique using cartoon methods to create movement
by objects or people. For example, a man will stand with feet together
and be photo- graphed, then he will repeat this action over and over,
but move slightly forward each time; the result will show the man apparently
moving forward (usually rapidly) without moving any part of his body.
Places: The request for cast and crew to take their positions for
the start of the performance.
Plaster Line: An imaginary line that runs across the proscenium
along the upstage side of the proscenium wall. This line is used by designers
and technicians to position various technical elements in the theatre.
Plot: Lighting term: the actual brightness settings of each lantern
and the LX cues. Also used to describe the process of setting the cues.
Can also be used as an alternative for "blocking", i.e. setting
the actors in their positions on-stage at an early stage in rehearsal.
Practical: Adjective used to describe properties or scenery which
have to work as in real life when used; e.g. a practical ceiling light
must actually light up when switched on by an actor.
Preppy Type: An Eastern prep school-casual appearance.
Preset: The ability, on a manual lighting control desk (as opposed
to one which is computer-controlled) to set up a lighting cue before it
is actually operated. Also the lighting state on a stage before the show
Preview: A performance given before the official opening. Often
these are rehearsals with an audience, and a time when new material is
tested and tried. (Usually you get a discount for these performances.)
Prime Time: Network programming aired 8:00 to 11:00 PM Eastern
and Pacific time zones and from 7:00 to 10:00 PM in Central Mountain-time
Principals: The people who have speaking lines, a special bit or
stunts in a scene.
Print: When the director has filmed a scene and wants to look at
it later for possible inclusion in the finished movie. This is a good
indicator that he/she will usually move ahead to the next scene.
Prism Convex: Another name for a Pebble Convex spotlight.
Process Shot: A shot coordinated with another image created by
Rear Projection, making the resulting picture look like a single simultaneous
shot. A typical process shot shows the faces of two people riding in a
car; behind them (as seen through the rear window) moves the usual traffic
of a city street. The traffic has been added by rear projection, creating
a process shot.
Producer: The person who is responsible for all of the day-to-day
business aspects of making and releasing a film.
Profile: A type of spotlight, with an optical system rather like a projector
which produces a narrow, hard-edged beam of light.
Prompt (Side): The left side of the stage, as you face the audience.
Prompt Copy: See "The Book". The copy of the script in
which all notes, moves, cues etc. are noted.
Prompt Script: The notebook kept by the stage manager that contains
all paperwork necessary to the production of the play, including a script
with blocking and cues. Also called a Prompt Book.
Prompt: To help an actor with his lines when he either asks or
Prompter: Amateur companies almost always have a prompter, someone
who sits in the wings and prompts the actors if they forget their lines.
There is no such position in the professional theatre pros should not
forget lines! Neither should amateurs, for that matter, but it happens
so, if a prompt is needed, it is given by whoever is "in the corner".
Prop Table: The table backstage on which props are laid out, usually
in a mapped out order. Props or Properties All objects, except for scenery,
used during a play. Categorized into hand props or set dressing.
Properties: Small items (a sword in an historical play, for instance,
or a briefcase) which actors carry onto or around the stage. Also used
loosely for "set dressing". Usually abbreviated to props.
Property Master: (or Mistress) Responsible for the obtaining and/or
construction of the properties.
Props: Easily moved object, such as furniture and fake rocks used in a
scene or as part of a set.
Proscenium: The outlining frame of the stage opening that separates
the house from the stage. Also called the Proscenium Arch.
Pyropot: A safe container into which a pyro (see Pyrotechnics)
charge is plugged.
Pyrotechnics: Usually abbreviated to "pyro". The use
of explosions, flashes, smoke, etc. on-stage.