TDF’s Theatre Dictionary is a video guide to theatre lingo, using short, entertaining films to define common (and not-so-common) theatre terms. Many of the films are made by TDF, but they’ve also commissioned videos from theatres around the country. Almost two dozen companies have added videos to the project, including Signature Theatre (New York), The Guthrie (Minneapolis), Actor’s Express (Atlanta) and HERE Arts Center (New York.)
The point is to empower audiences and artists at the same time. The Dictionary brings theatre fans closer to the theatre’s language, and it gives artists an opportunity to make art. And, for anyone who wants to go deeper, each video is paired on the Dictionary’s site with an essay that provides more context and historical information. There’s also a blog that invites users to share their own definitions, memories and responses. Another crucial element: Fun. Most of the videos are lighthearted, since learning about the theatre doesn’t have to be a drag.
Playbill.com kicks off this new feature with a welcome video starring Tony Award winner Denis O’Hare. Sitting on the red steps of the TKTS booth in Times Square, he playfully explains what the Dictionary is and how to use it. The first Term of the Month is "The Scottish Play," which digs into the theatre's notorious superstition about Shakespeare’s tragedy.
To see the rest of the Theatre Dictionary’s videos and essays, visit www.theatredictionary.org.