A glossary of Stage Terms for students exploring design for Stage and Screen

Dock Door(s)

The Dock Door or Scene Dock door is a large strong door that allows for large items of scenery, technical equipment, props, animals etc to be brought on stage from outside the theatre. In this example, because street level is higher than the level of the stage ramps are required to enable items to be brought […]


US or Upstage, is that part of the stage furthest away from the audience, the high end of a raked stage


The Parterre is that part of the Auditorum which is at ground level.

Fog Machine

A Fog Machine can come as a “Dry Ice” machine, whereby the dry ice is heated thus producing a white vapour. The Smoke Machine is a machine that heats up a special fluid which turns into a similar vapor. Both machines can in turn expell onto the stage, what appears to be a white fog […]

French Brace

A French Brace or Jack Brace is a wooden construction of three lengths of timber fixed in the form of an elongated right angle triangle. To make them less noticeable on stage they are painted matt black. Their long side of the right-angle is screwed or hinged to the back of a flat and the […]

Black Leg

Black Leg. A vertical hanging fire retardant or fireproof black drape used for masking off stage areas such as the wings.

Fly Tower

The Fly Tower is a space high above the stage floor which accommodates the flying system whereby scenery, lamps and other items are flown/hung out of sight of the audience.


Truck is a low platform on wheels or castors on which scenery can be mounted and moved


Truss, this is a long narrow open metal (aluminium) frame of one, three or four sides (Flat, Triangular or Box section) used to hang lamps from. It comes in lengths or sections that can be fixed together to produce long pieces for flying, freestanding goalpost pieces or a whole suspended or supported roof over the […]


Treads refers to steps or stairs used on stage usually as part of the set, they are named after the horizontal part of the stairs or steps on which you tread.