Fabula Generic Latin term for a play. In Rome the term included several types of plays including: the fabula atellanae, or atellan farce, an early form of folk-based drama; fabula palliata, which were based on translations from earlier Greek texts; and fabula togata, which was a more topical, native type of drama, such as those written by Plautus.
Falling Action See, Denouement. The action following the climax of a play, in which the conflict and relationships are brought to a final conclusion.
False Proscenium Also known as the inner proscenium, this is a temporary structure used to reduce the opening of the permanent proscenium. Particularly useful for touring companies, where the troupe has to play on a variety of stage sizes.
Farce Popular comedy in which horseplay and bodily assualt figure largely in contrived and often improbable situations. Farce has its antecedents in Greek satyr plays, the Roman fabula atellanae, and in other native, pastoral drama. It is, however, a higher form of theatre than burlesque, retaining elements of insight into the human situation.
Flat Basic unit of scenery consisting of a wooden frame. Usually covered with muslin or canvas and painted, it can also be covered with thin wooden veneer. See, TCT's pages on building a basic flat in our technical tips section.
Floodlight A lighting instrument that throws a wide, unfocused beam of light, "flooding" an area with illumination.
Fly To suspend scenery, drops or lighting from a pipe batten hung from the grid. The term is also used to describe the act of raising or lowering scenery or a drop out of or into the view of the audience; as in, "fly cityscape out" in a stage crew's cue sheet.
Fly Loft Also called the "flies" or "fly floor". The raised area from which flown scenery and drops are controlled. This usually involves hand working the fly-lines as opposed to using a counerweighted system.
Focus The process of aiming a lighting instrument so that it illuminates a particular portion of the stage, including angling the beam, sizing the beam, and determining whether the edge of the beam should be sharply defined or diffuse.
Follow Spot A high wattage, variable focus lighting instrument that is mounted so as to enable the operator follow performers on stage with the beam of light. The beam of light can be sharpened or diffused to alter the effect of the lighting and the spot can be enlarged or reduced to maintain a tight focus on the performer.
Foot Iron Hardware mounted on the stage floor, that accomodates a stage screw for purposes of securing scenery to the stage.
Footlights Recessed, low-wattage lighting instruments usually located in a metal trough or sconces mounted along the lip of the apron.
Forestage See, Apron. The small area of stage extending beyond the proscenium.
Fourth Wall The imaginary fourth wall that is removed from box set to enable the audience to see the action on stage. The term now applies to the "wall" separating audience and performers on any type of stage or even film and television. Thus, the term "breaking the fourth wall" refers to an actor speaking directly to the audience.
French Scene The action which takes place between one actor's entrance and exit.
Fresnel A lighting instrument with a graduated lens that throws a soft, generally defocused beam of light. Most fresnels allow for some control over the focus of the beam by means of a sliding mechanism.
Futurism Movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th Century, which spanned all of the arts. It emphasized the impact of technology on society.