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

Iron The

The Iron or Fire Curtain or Safety Curtain is a heavy steel clad fire proof curtain that in an emergency can be dropped in along the front of the stage to seal the stage and back-stage areas from the auditorium and front of house areas in the Theatre. In the video sequence (to be uploaded) […]

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 […]

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.


OP or Opposite Prompt is the right hand side (stage right) of the stage as from the performer’s view facing the audience. Also see Prompt Side and Prompt Corner.


Sightlines are the lines of vision indicating the limits to what the audience can see of the stage from different positions in the auditorium.

Single Purchase counterweight

Single purchase counterweight flying system is where the weight cradle travels the same distance as the fly bar travels. The counterweight frame occupies the full height of the stage side wall. See Counterweight Flying System.  

Stage Left

Stage Left or SL, the left hand side of the stage as viewed by the performer facing the audience also termed Prompt Side.

Stage Right

Stage Right or SR, the right hand side of the stage as viewed by the performer when facing the audience also termed Opposite Prompt.

Front Cloth

Front Cloth, this is a decorated scenic cloth hung close to the front of the stage which allows scenery to be changed behind it.  


Gudgeons and Cleats are brackets fixed to the strong horizontal fly rail running from back to front on side wall of the stage, to which the hemp ropes of the  flying system are tied off. They are also used on the backs of flats so as to lash them togeather.