Cover image for Theatre backstage from A to Z
Theatre backstage from A to Z
Lounsbury, Warren C.
Personal Author:
Fourth edition, revised and expanded / by Norman C. Boulanger.
Publication Information:
Seattle : University of Washington Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxix, 231 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN2091.M3 L68 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
PN2091.M3 L68 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

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This invaluable guide to theatrical production includes up-to-date definitions of all technical aspects of stagecraft, including the many advances in the past decade, particularly in the areas of trusses, rigging, and automated lights and their control. More than 200 terms, along with 25 new drawings, have been added, many existing definitions have been expanded and drawings revised to include new technological developments, and World Wide Web addresses have been added to the List of Manufacturers and Distributors and to the Bibliography. At the same time, older terminology and definitions have been retained so the book will remain useful for those unable to participate in the high-tech revolution.

For more than thirty years this manual has been the essential handbook for both the beginner and the advanced backstage technician. At a time when theatre, both professional and amateur, is growing and flourishing all over the United States, Theatre Backstage from A to Z provides more practical information, on a wider range of subjects, than can be found in any other book in the field.

Sample Contents

--Automated light control


--Bounce it

--Chase control

--Daisy chaining




--Paint and paint colors

--Projectors and projection screens

--Rigging systems

--Shin buster

--Sound equipment

--Stage crew


--Uncle Buddy

Author Notes


Reviews 1

Choice Review

Lounsbury (University of Washington, emeritus) and Boulanger (Eastern Washington University, emeritus) present an updated "fourth" edition of Lounsbury's original manual of technical theater terminology, Backstage From A to Z (1956). The approximately 2,000 definitions are arranged alphabetically, with frequent subheadings and "see" references. Definitions are written with the practitioner in mind, although amateurs should understand them. This edition, the first since 1972, reflects numerous technological developments, notably in holography, safety, computerized lightboards, and sound equipment. Some definitions, such as "lighting" and "lamps," have been extensively rewritten. As with previous editions, drawings, black-and-white phtographs, and schematics are included; future editions would benefit from color illustrations. An excellent introductory essay on scenery and lighting practices in the US has also been retained. Because of the wide range of material covered, both student and professional theater technicians will find this inexpensive, well-designed volume useful. It will serve as a companion to P. Carter's Backstage Handbook (2nd ed., 1988) and Glerum's Stage Rigging Handbook (CH, Sep'87). Recommended for all libraries serving theater programs. A. J. Adam Prairie View Agricultural & Mechanical University