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A 50l(c)(3) nonprofit community
theatre organization founded in 1988
Spring & fall productions,
four to seven performances each

www.chicagostar.org

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PERFORMANCE SPACE:
Home Auditorium
4400 S Home Ave
(7000 west,
a few blocks east of Harlem)

Stickney, Illinois

(312) 802-8020

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Theatre Dictionary
Actor (as defined by a set designer): Person who stands between the audience and the set designer's art, blocking the view.

Assistant Director: Individual willing to undertake special projects nobody else would do on a bet.

Bit Part: An opportunity for the actor with the smallest role to count everybody else's lines and mention repeatedly that he or she has the smallest part in the show.

Blocking: The art of moving actors on the stage in such a manner so as to have them not collide with the walls, furniture or each other. Similar to playing chess, with the exception that, here, the pawns want to argue with you.

Blocking Rehearsal: The rehearsal during which actors frantically write down movements that will be nowhere in evidence by opening night.

Crew: Group of individuals who spend their evenings coping with hour-long stretches of total boredom interspersed with 30-second bursts of mindless panic.

Dark Night: The night before opening when no rehearsal is scheduled so the actors and crew can go home and get some well-deserved rest, but instead spend the night staring sleeplessly at the ceiling because they're sure they needed one more rehearsal.

Dark Spot: An area of the stage the lighting designer has inexplicably forgotten to light, and which has a magnetic attraction for the first-time actor. Never evident before opening night.

Director: An individual who suffers from the delusion that he/she is responsible for every moment of brilliance cited by the critic in the local review.

Dress Rehearsal: The final rehearsal during which actors forget everything learned in the two previous weeks as they attempt to navigate the 49 new setpieces that have just been added.

Eternity: The time that passes between a dropped cue and the next line.

Forebrain: The part of an actor's brain that contains lines, blocking and characterization; activated by hot lights. Not to be confused with "hindbrain," below.

Green Room: Room shared by nervous actors waiting to go on stage and the precocious children whose actor parents couldn't get a babysitter that night, a situation that can result in justifiable homicide.

Hands: Appendages at the end of the arms used for manipulating one's environment, except on a stage, where they grow six times their normal size and either dangle uselessly, fidget nervously, or try to hide in your pockets.

Hindbrain: The part of an actor's brain that keeps up a running subtext in the background while the forebrain is trying to act. The hindbrain supplies a constant stream of unwanted information, such as who is sitting in the second row tonight, a notation to seriously maim the crew member who thought it would be funny to put real Tabasco sauce in your fake Bloody Mary, or the fact that you need to do laundry on Sunday. Not to be confused with "forebrain," above.

Lighting Designer: Individual who whines and throws fits, saying, "This is the last show I'm doing here!"

Makeup Kit: A battered tackle box loaded with at least 10 shades of greasepaint in various stages of desiccation, tubes of lipstick and blush, assorted pencils, bobby pins, braids of crepe hair, liquid latex, old programs, jewelry, break-a-leg greeting cards from past shows, brushes, and a handful of half-melted cough drops.

Monologue: That shining moment when all eyes are focused on a single actor who is desperately aware that if he forgets a line, no one can save him.

Prop: A hand-carried object small enough to be lost by an actor exactly 30 seconds before it is needed on stage.

Quality Theatre: Any show with which one was directly involved. Not to be confused with "turkey," below.

Set: An obstacle course which, throughout the rehearsal period, defies the laws of physics by growing smaller week by week while continuing to occupy the same amount of space.

Stage Manager: Individual responsible for overseeing the crew, supervising the set changes, babysitting the actors, and putting the director in a hammerlock to keep him from killing the actor who just decided to turn his walk-on part into a major role by doing magic tricks while he serves the tea.

Tech Week (a.k.a. "Hell Week"): The last week of rehearsal when everything that was supposed to be done weeks before finally comes together at the last minute. This week reaches its grand climax during "dress rehearsal," above, when costumes rip, a dimmer pack catches fire, and the director has a nervous breakdown.

Turkey: Any show with which one was not directly involved. Not to be confused with "quality theatre," above.

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