GUIDE TO ABBREVIATIONS AND SPECIAL TERMS
The following terms and abbreviations, used throughout the book, will prove helpful to the reader.
In One- this refers to a scene or musical number that is played in front of a drop to facilitate a set change. Many numbers begin in full set and end in front of a closed curtain or drop. It usually means there are no set props available i.e. benches, chairs. Most In One numbers are performed standing up. "Elegance," in Hello, Dolly! is an example of this type of song.
Stage Directions- Stage directions, as we know them, go back to Shakespearean times when performers played on a raked stage with the poorer members of the audience most often standing on a flat surface. In order to allow these standees to see the action at the rear of the stage the stage was raked with the highest end furthest from the audience. When an actor walked away he was walking Upstage. Thus the term Upstage refers to action furthest away from the audience and Downstage refers to that which is closest. All stage directions are given from the actors viewpoint, which means that Stage Right and Stage Left refer to the actor's Right and Left.
L to...- refers to Lines which directly preceded a song. This information is included because of the difficulty for performers to bridge the gap between spoken dialogue and song. Lines may mean a monologue prior to a solo song or a few lines at the end of a scene that flows into the song.
Sc to...- applies to scenes that precede musical numbers. These are most often small scenes with two or three characters with action directly leading to the song and its development. All the characters need not have lines in the Scene, and all need not sing in the song. There are many Scenes to Solos which require the other person to be onstage prior to the song and often throughout the song without taking a vocal part in the song.
Solo- a song sung by one person, sometimes to another who does not sing. In cases where the response of the non-singer is important to the singer it is advised that the two rehearse together. It is suggested that "reaction" numbers be part of all students' training. "Miracle of Miracles" and "Far From the Home I Love" from Fiddler on the Roof, are two examples of how the non singer helps the singer. In the first Tzeitel's reactions to Motel's enthusiasm lead him to greater heights, and in the second Tevye's response to Hodel and her subsequent reactions make the drama heartbreaking.
In the same vein:
Duet- Two People
Trio- Three People.
Quartet- Four People.
Quintet- Five People
Octet- Eight People, only mentioned if the number specifically requires that exact amount for vocal reasons
Chorus- refers to musical numbers, which are most often performed by a group in some sort of physical unison. In the song charts in the back of the book the chorus numbers are specifically geared to the beginning choreographer and success in a classroom or Revue situation. There are many chorus numbers that require a seasoned choreographer, excellent dancers and grueling rehearsals. For that reason they do not appear except in the synopsis.
Linear...- Linear, most often used to define duets, refers to a song where two people sing together but from different areas of the stage. They usually do not physically relate to the other character. However, lyrically may involve the other person. Linear duets are usually not appropriate for dramatic scene to duet class work for there is no inter- relationship.
Triple Threat- this relatively new term refers to performers who act, sing and dance. Prior to the seventies performers usually excelled in either singing, dancing or acting and were termed singers who danced or dancers who sang or actors who could sing, or actors who danced. The rising cost of Broadway musicals necessitated that chorus size be trimmed, thus the disappearance of separate singing and dancing choruses. A Chorus Line is a show that requires a company of triple threat performers.
Concept Musical- This term generally refers to a show that originated from a concept, is fairly free flowing, and has characters that do not need to inter-relate. Working and Runaways are examples of these. Both shows primary interest is the treatment of the topic and how the individual character feels about himself.
VTNE- Vocal Type Not Essential, applied to a non-singing role
VTI- Vocal Type Inter Changeable, this primarily refers to those who only sing in trios, quartets, or chorus where the character is not altered by a change in vocal type.