How to describe a stage?

Have you ever tried to describe a stage? Maybe you’re writing a play, or reviewing one for your blog. Perhaps you just want to impress your friends with your knowledge of the theatre. Whatever the reason, describing a stage can be daunting if you don’t know where to start. But fear not! In this article, we’ll take a funny look at how to do just that.

The Basics

Let’s start by breaking down some key terms:

Proscenium Stage

This is what most people think of when they imagine a “traditional” theatre. It has an arch (the proscenium) at the front of the stage and an audience sitting in front of it.

Thrust Stage

A thrust stage is surrounded on three sides by the audience, who sit in rows facing toward it.

Arena Stage

Sometimes called “theatre-in-the round,” arena stages have audience seating completely surrounding them.

Now that we’ve got some basic terminology out of the way, let’s dive into describing those stages!

Describing Proscenium Stages

Proscenium stages are probably what most people have seen before – think Phantom of the Opera or Hamilton on Broadway. Here are some tips for describing them:

  • Start with location: “In front of me is an expansive proscenium stage.”
  • Describe any ornate details: Are there columns? Velvet curtains?
  • Mention any set pieces currently onstage.
  • Emphasize distance between actors/actresses and audience members: “Despite being far away from my seat, I could see every detail.”

Don’t forget – while proscenium stages may be common in Western theatre traditions,they aren’t nearly as exotic-sounding as other types!

Describing Thrust Stages

Thrusts put performers closer to their audiences and provide unique blocking opportunities. Here are some ways to describe them:

  • Start with location: “In the middle of a sea of seats sits the thrust stage.”
  • Mention how close performers are to audience members.
  • Talk about any set pieces currently onstage, emphasizing their proximity to both actors and viewers.
  • Use expressive language that conveys excitement or intimacy.

Not only is this a great way to convey an authentic theater-going experience, but it can also encourage ticket sales!

Arena stages create unique spatial relationships between performers and audiences. Here’s how you might go about describing one:

  • Start with location: “I’m surrounded on all sides by avid theatre-goers sitting in risers.”
  • Express emotion – these stages often help build tension!
    “I could feel every breath from [the actor], his struggle palpable as he labored closer”.
    Mention any set pieces visible onstage
    -Because fans’ attention is often fragmented, mention details briefly before expanding more widely

Imagineation Time

So far we have discussed common descriptions related to popular theatrical conventions – but what if you were crafting a new venue setting? It’s just shy of impossible circumstances for our imagination – SO DIG IN!! Let’s put what we’ve learned into practice ! So let us imagine something bizarre may be created along the lines of (drumroll) …a Water-Surrounded Stage. Yes, you read correctly… no touching required! The performers wear water-proof attire while engaging in spectacular aerial displays above submerged scenery.

Let’s take ownership now and craft those imaginations into descriptive works:


Just like always,let’s start off with some wording basics for this particular kind of stage environment:A Water-Surrounded Stage

We’ll want initial phrasing which highlights the uniqueness factor involved within such an innovative design:
“Right here is something extraordinary!” / “Something brand new has stolen the spotlight…”

Now let’s get into the details…

  • Highlight that water is present and that performers are not only on ‘waterproof’ platforms but using it as an essential tool itself – “A new twist unveiled! Dazzling Magicians levitate above rising pools of ripples, their movements punctuated by sparklands flairing from each gesture.”
  • Specify where any audience seating may be located.
  • Mention how aerialists interact with the stage environment while maintaining crucial distance between themselves and attendees.
    -The logic of the setting is presented in such a way so as to transparently communicate what makes this waterside stage exhilarating
    “The novelty isn’t just reserved for the performing acrobats; dry backstage areas blur conspicuously into sloping banks resulting in visually entangled performances”

This creative platform provides an exception opportunity to craft wild excitements – Take advantage of its distinct characteristics!


I hope you’ve found these tips helpful (and humorous)! Whether you’re describing a classic proscenium stage or breaking ground with something entirely new, there’s always a way to make your descriptions more dynamic. Remember: detail is key, adjectives are your best friend,and theatre experiences can take many forms – regardless if they include magical bodies floating over calm waters or traditional Shakespeare tragedies. With practice and creativity, anyone can learn to describe a stage like a pro!

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