Here is the Technical Theatre BSL Glossary.  We hope you enjoy what you see. Be sure to leave your comments.  Thank you!

SCENOGRAPHY – Scenography, Backdrop, Tabs, Legs, Wings, Flats, Borders, Frontcloth, Proscenium Arch, Ground Plan

Term: Scenography

Term: Backdrop

Term: Tabs 

Term: Legs 

Term: Wings 

Term: Flats

Term: Borders 

Term: Frontcloth 

Term: Proscenium arch 

Term: Ground plan

STAGE MANAGEMENT – Stage Management, Set Model Box, Blocking, Shout Check, Standby, Cue, Gaffer Tape, The Book, Cans, Call

Term: Stage Management 

Term: Set Model Box 

Term: Blocking 

Term: Shout check

Term: Standby

Term: Cue

Term: Gaffer tape 

Term: The Book

Term: Cans

Term: Call

LIGHTING – Gel, Focussing, Barn Doors, Shutters, Dimmer, Iris, Plotting, Gobo, Intelligent Lighting, Fresnel, Flood, Parcan, Birdie

Term: Gel 

Term: Focussing 

Term: Barn doors

Term: Shutters

Term: Dimmer

Term: Iris

Term: Plotting 

Term: Gobo

Term: Intelligent lighting

Term: Fresnel

Term: Flood

Term: Parcan

Term: Birdie

SOUND – Connectors, Mixer, Reverb, Equaliser, Compressor, Gate, Delay, Line Array, Sub, Tweeter and Woofer

Term: Connectors

Term: Mixer

Term: Reverb

Term: Equaliser 

Term: Compressor

Term: Gate

Term: Delay

Term: Line array

Term: Sub

Term: Tweeter and Woofer

WARDROBE – Wardrobe, Dress Rehearsal, Breaking Down, Dresser, Quick Change, Swatch, Pattern, Stitch Pick, Dress Form

Term: Wardrobe

Term: Dress rehearsal

Term: Breaking down

Term: Dresser

Term: Quick change

Term: Swatch

Term: Pattern 

Term: Stitch pick 

Term: Dress form

43 thoughts on “Glossary

  1. Hi Dan Thanks for the comments. Yes, director’s vocabulary would be a good extension of the glossary. Thank you.

  2. Hi Dan
    Many thanks for your comments. Good to know that the signs are useful.
    I think expanding the glossary to include Director’s terms is a great idea! Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. These are fab!! Really useful. I wonder whether you could do one for a director’s vocabulary. As a director who is learning BSL it would be great to have signs relevant to working with deaf actors.

  4. Hi Ali,
    Really looking forward to working with you tomorrow. Just wondered if you could include working stage positions etc up/down stage stage right and left.

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  6. Thanks Hannah. Glad you like the Glossary and always useful to have feedback. That is a really good idea to repeat the sign at the end. We’ll look into it. Best wishes and hope your colleagues like it too!

  7. As someone learning BSL and working in theatre this is fantastic. From the learning perspective it would be great if the signs could always be repeated at the end of the description, or if there was a sheet with summary images to support the videos. Looking forward to teaching my colleages some of these!

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  9. This is the best thing and thanks this has helped me on my homework

  10. Great clips! Really useful and clear. Will be passing to any students interested in theatre. Will be keeping a lookout for if you do anymore.

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  12. Hi Allan. Many thanks indeed for your comment. Glad you like the idea and thanks for passing on the message. Will definitely be moving into props I reckon, as it’s such a big part of theatre. Ali

  13. Fantastic work, well done. I would be very interested to know if you were going to be venturing into the world of props, being a partially hearing-impaired prop maker, I rely on lip reading a fair amount, but the idea of conventionalised BSL signs is great. I will be passing this on to my BSL show interpreter colleagues.

  14. Hi Emma Many thanks indeed for your comments. These are really useful and I’ll definitely take them forward when we create more of the glossary. Do please spread the word. Thanks.

  15. Might be a good idea to include the information that ground plans and set models are ‘to scale’ (usually 1:25 in the UK and Europe and 1:24 in America). Lighting designers use a ground plan and section that the set designer has prepared to overlay their lighting design…now usually on the computer.
    Add ‘scale ruler’ too! ….the designers most important tool.
    Maybe include ‘mark up’ in stage management section….first job in rehearsal space is to mark the set foot print on the floor in insulation tape from information given on the ground plan.
    Model boxes are presented to the cast and creative team at the beginning of rehearsals so that everyone has a vision of the piece, not just for directors.
    Never heard stitch pic before….normally a ‘quick un-pick’?

    Brilliant though. Not criticisms, just trying to help!
    Emma (scenographer)

  16. Everything very understanding, so clear and well informed. I am a bit concerned with signs that some presenters use such as SOMETIMES – a liverpudlian sign version. START a Scottish version was used, SAME, as SIMILAR was used. COLOUR should be a single “C” not an international one used. MOON should be signed with a thumb touching a cheek, and not the children’s version. TABLE should be just a surface and not the full top-to sides one which is used by children or a MAKATON version. QUICK CHANGE – the sign should be just CLOTHES CHANGE. (QUICK CHANGE) everything else is clear and excellent. So a big congratulations.

  17. Thanks for the reply. I’ve passed word on in Cardiff. I have also passed details to our Careers Service which could lead to some school leavers taking an interest as well as their teachers. I look forward to hearing more about any book that results and I’ll certainly mention it on any deaf awareness course I run.

  18. Hi George. Many thanks for your comment. Hadn’t thought about a book but will think about it now! Best wishes.

  19. Fantastic! Keep me informed as I’ve got ambitions on theatre interpreting and working with D/deaf people within the industry too.

  20. Hi Ramon. Many thanks for your kind commments. I think your idea of a search facility linked to the words is excellent. Will definitely look into that. Thanks, Ålison

  21. Superb resource – do you think you could extend this site with a search facility to type in the technical word and get the result rather than going through all the jargons in groups?

  22. Pingback: British Sign Language (BSL) glossary of Technical Theatre Terms Has Been Launched | The British Blacklist

  23. Wow have just watched scenography and wardrobe so far and am loving it. A really useful resource which I will make much use of. Fabulous….congratulations to you all.

  24. Bloody fantastic, having been both sides of the stage, I’ve seen most of these things but just not known what they were called. Very helpful with clear signs and explanations, all make sense. I learned some new words and signs today!

  25. That’s really great! I loved the style you used with a wide range of different Deaf presenters grouping it into topics. I really got a good idea of the craft of theatre from watching the explanations. I also thought the blog was good, explaining your method of work. I would like to put a link on the Scottish Sensory Centre’s BSL Glossary of curriculum terms because I think deaf pupils studying drama would be interested in this too, as well as their teachers and CSWs.
    Please do more terms!

  26. Hiya Ali – this is tremendous and beautifully shot – will be passing the link to my new friends here in Belfast and beyond……….thank-you so much for this!

  27. Hi David. That’s great to hear. Thanks so much. Glad you found the information interesting. Hopefully there’ll be more in the future. Ali

  28. As a mere theatregoer (ie not an actor myself!) this is a fascinating insight into so much that goes into any theatre production preparations together with its associated vocabulary to avoid any possible misunderstandings. Well done on an excellent project!

  29. Thanks Mo. That’s great to hear that you appreciated the explanations. That’s so useful. It would also be great to hear about any other words/terms that you have had difficulty with in the past. Maybe we can make a list of things to explore next time round. Ali x

  30. Hi Dvasinis. Welcome. Thanks for your lovely comments. Glad you like it and how the Deaf group sign. That’s good to hear. Hope it is useful to you and others. Ali

  31. Great resource not only the signs but also the explanations…. Certain words we hear but only at the point of interpreting realise we don’t know what they mean.

  32. What a lovely bunch of films : ) Congratulations on such a great project.
    I found the signs very clear and would love a glossary for the TV & film industry!

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