Stage Directions
By Jordan Tomkins
Stage Directions

If you don't have a background in theatre or performance, stage directions can be confusing. Here are some basic directions that everyone can understand.

Stage Directions - The Basics

If you are managing an event with a stage, you may have come across terms such as ‘up stage' and ‘down stage’ before. These are terms that have been lifted straight from the theatre, and might not be something you’re familiar with.

Knowing the correct terminology will help you give clearer instructions to the other teams such as technical production companies and presenters, so it is good practice to learn your stage directions.

In the theatre, the stage is looked at as though it is vertical. Therefore the terminology is referred to in this manner:

UP STAGE: Towards the back of the stage

DOWN STAGE: Towards the front of the stage

MID STAGE: The middle of the stage

Lateral directions are given from the presenter or performer’s point of view. Therefore it is important to understand:

STAGE LEFT: The performer’s left, audience’s right.

STAGE RIGHT: The performer’s right, audience’s left.

Alternatively, some producers may use terms relating to the ‘camera’ position. Therefore:

CAMERA LEFT: The audience’s left, performer’s right.

CAMERA RIGHT: The audience’s right, performer’s left.

Other terms that may prove useful:

THRUST: A ‘catwalk’ style piece of staging that protrudes from the front of the stage

WINGS: The parts of the stage that are not visible, to the side of the stage and often concealed by fabric drapes or ‘tabs’.

Here is a handy diagram of a stage that we have created to help visualise the terms:

Stage Directions - Basic stage locations

Stage directions will help you communicate better and be clear and concise.

If you need any help with stage design or how to make a stage layout work within your space, why not get in touch with our team.

0333 022 0171