(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
1. drama; the drama, the stage, the theater, legitimate theater, street theater; show business, theatricals, theatrics, performance art; theater of the absurd, the mind, cruelty, involvement, protest, etc.; closet drama; son et lumière; dramaturgy, stagecraft, histrionics, sock and buskin; commedia dell'arte; Muse of Tragedy, Melpomene; Muse of Comedy, Thalia; Thespis; puppetry, Punch and Judy; classical theater, ancient tragedy, cothurnus; bunraku, Noh, Kabuki. Slang, legit.
2. (dramatic staged work) play, playlet, drama, stage play, piece, vehicle, tragedy, [high or low] comedy, black comedy, tragicomedy; opera, operetta, musical comedy, review, revue, road show, vaudeville, variety, burlesque, minstrel show, shadow play, improvisation], farce, Grand Guignol, divertissement, skit, playlet, extravaganza, harlequinade, pantomime, opéra bouffe, ballet, spectacle, masque, melodrama; monologue, duologue, dialogue; trilogy, tetralogy, etc.; charade; mystery, morality, chronicle, or miracle play; agitprop, guerrilla theater; television or radio drama, soap opera, daytime drama, Theater of the Air; puppet show; audition (see experiment); libretto; epitasis, protasis, catastasis, catharsis. Slang, diaper drama or play, oater; docutainment, infotainment.
3. (section of a dramatic work) act, scene, tableau; introduction, prologue, curtain raiser; turn, number; entr'acte, intermission, intermezzo, interlude, half-time; epilogue, afterpiece; curtain; curtain call, encore.
a. performance, representation, mise en scène, stagery, stagecraft; acting, impersonation; stage business, slapstick, buffoonery; showmanship; part, role, character, cast, dramatis personae, road company; repertory, repertoire; [out-of-town] tryout; summer theater, amateur theatricals, [summer] stock; theater in the round, open-air theater, arena theater, odeum, showboat. Informal, gag. Slang, ham acting.
b. rehearsal, dress rehearsal, [cold] reading, walk-through, run-through, tech[nical] rehearsal.
5. (motion picture) motion or moving picture, film, cinema, talking picture, silver screen; photoplay, screenplay. Informal, movie [show], talkie. Slang, flickers.
6. (theatrical performance)
a. theater, house; legitimate theater, playhouse, opera house, music hall, movie theater, off- or off-off-Broadway theater; amphitheater, circus, hippodrome; puppet or marionette theater. See arena.
b. auditorium, front of house, stalls, boxes, orchestra, balcony, loges, gallery, peanut gallery; greenroom; festival seating.
c. stage, proscenium, apron, forestage; the scene, the boards; trap; wings, flies; up-or downstage, stage right or left; float, light, spotlight, footlight; orchestra pit, dressing room, quick-change room; stage door; scenery, flat, [back]drop, screen, scrim, cyclorama, side-scene; transformation scene, curtain; periaktoi.
d. makeup, greasepaint; theatrical costume; properties, props; stage direction, blocking, staging.
7. (people of the theater)
a. cast; actor, actress, player, stage player, performer, trouper, vaudevillian, Thespian; showman; star, hero, headliner, matinee idol; protagonist, leading man or woman; comedian, tragedian, villain, heavy; ingenue, soubrette; foil, straight man; pantomimist, mummer, masker, clown, harlequin, buffo, buffoon, farceur, Pantaloon, Columbine; Punch, Punchinello; tumbler, juggler, acrobat; contortionist. Informal, stooge. Slang, ham [actor], juvie; talking head, media whore.
b. supporting cast, super[numerary], extra, spear carrier, bit player.
c. librettist, scenario writer, dramatic author; playwriter, playwright; dramatist; dramaturg.
d. [stage] director; producer, impresario; prompter; stage manager; set, costume, etc. designer; stagehand. Slang, grip, gaffer.
e. audience, public, theatergoer, spectator.
f. booker, booking agent, talent coordinator.
Verbs — act, play, perform; mount, put on the stage; impersonate (see representation); mimic, imitate, enact; play or act [out] a part; rehearse; tread the boards, barnstorm; hold the stage; blow or fluff one's lines; star, figure in; overact, upstage, steal the show; adapt for the stage, dramatize; ring down or up the curtain; paper the house. Slang, ham [it up], mug, chew the scenery.
Adjectives — dramatic, theatrical, scenic, histrionic, comic, tragic, farcical, tragicomic, melodramatic, colorful, operatic; first- or second-run; stagy.
Adverbs — on the stage or boards; before the footlights.
Interjections — break a leg! [in] bocca al' lupo! (crepi lupo!); bravo! bis!
Quotations — Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing (Sir Ralph Richardson), Just say the lines and don't trip over the furniture (Noel Coward), Acting is a masochistic form of exhibitionism (Laurence Olivier), The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king (Shakespeare), There still remains, to mortify a wit, the many-headed monster of the pit (Alexander Pope), We should show life neither as it is nor as it ought to be, but as we see it in our dreams (Anton Chekhov), There's no business like show business (Irving Berlin), I go to the theatre to be entertained, I want to be taken out of myself (Alan Bennett), Drama is action, sir, action and not confounded philosophy (Luigi Pirandello), Acting is an empty and useless profession (Marlon Brando).
(Roget's IV) n.
1. [A theatrical composition or production]
Syn. play, piece, production, dramatic representation, dramatic work, dramatization, show, stage show, vehicle, skit, sketch, legitimate stage, theater; see also acting , theater 2 .
Types of drama include: melodrama, tragicomedy, comedy of manners, social document, burlesque, pantomime, mime, opera, operetta, light opera, musical comedy, musical, mystery, murder mystery, farce, problem drama, classical drama, historical drama, expressionism, theater of the absurd, theater of cruelty, mixed media theater, epic, pageant, masque, miracle play, revival, serial, radio play, television play, teleplay; thriller*, high-brow stuff*, whodunit*, agitprop*, melo*; see also comedy , tragedy 3 .
2. [Action having the qualities of drama]
Syn. histrionics, melodrama, farce, climax, emotion, tension, suspense, scene, tragedy, comedy, theatrics, dramatics, intensity, sob story*, tear-jerker*, soap opera*; see also excitement .
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus) n.
play, show, screenplay, production, melodrama, dramatic arts, tragedy, story, narrative, *tearjerker, dramatization, stagecraft, theatrics. ''A slice of life artistically put on the boards.''—Jean Jullien.

English dictionary for students. 2013.


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