150+ Performing Arts Spanish Words & Vocabulary You Should Know

Being a technical crew member in any performing arts endeavour is a challenging and often, a confusing job if you're just starting out. However, if you're also touring your performance in a country that doesn't speak your native language, it's even more chaotic!

In July 2019, we travelled to Spain with our play Marta La Piadosa to participate in AlmagroOFF, the world's largest classical theatre festival.

(Here's a review of how the performance turned out!)

We were a big creative team of 13 people which included many language-students-turned-actors. Then there was me – the group's production manager who doubled up as a light and sound operator for the performance. This meant that I was the one tasked with the technical coordination of the lights/sound design with the staff at the venue we were performing at, all of whom, surprise surprise, only spoke Spanish!

A View From The Tech Box

I remember looking up Spanish words for spotlight, downstage, fade, focus and other stage-related terms before the flight but had blanked out completely on the day. Since I knew the basics of the language, I was able to communicate with the staff with the help of my directors and we were able to execute the lights and sound plan and go on to put on a fabulous show, in spite of the logistical (and linguistic!) challenges that came up.

If you're reading till this point in this blog, chances are you're probably someone who has had a similar experience already (I feel for you!) or you're someone who may be travelling to a Spanish-speaking country soon with a performing arts project (pandemic permitting, of course). That's why we've decided to compile a list of thirty handy theatre terms in the Spanish language – covering different areas like text, performance, research and analysis, stagecraft, scenography, production, venue and the 'lingo' you may hear off stage and on stage.

Let's dive in!

📖 Text (el texto)

  • Act(s) - el acto / los actos

  • Antagonist / Protagonist - el or la antagonista / el or la protagonista

  • Aside - aparte

  • Character - el personaje

  • Role - el rol or el papel

  • Chorus / Ensemble - el conjunto

  • Classic - clásico

  • Climax - el clímax

  • Conflict - el conflicto

  • Contemporary - contemporáneo

  • Drama, Comedy, Farce, Mystery, Fantasy - la tragedia, la comedia, la farsa, el misterio, la fantasía

  • Environment - el ambiente / el entorno

  • Genre - el género

  • Lines / Dialogues - las líneas

  • Monologue - el monólogo

  • Mood - el ambiente

  • Narrator - el narrador

  • Plot - el argumento

  • Prologue / Epilogue - el prólogo / el epílogo

  • Scene - la escena

  • Script - el guión

  • Setting - el marco

  • Stage Direction - la acotación

  • The End - el fin

  • The Start - el principio

💃 Performance (la realización)

  • Action - la acción

  • Audience - el público / los espectadores

  • Audition - la audición

  • Blackout - el oscurecimiento

  • Blocking - el movimiento

  • Casting - la audición

  • Cold Reading - la interpretación basica

  • Cue / Beat - el pie or la entrada

  • Curtain - el telón

  • Dress Rehearsal - el ensayo de vestuario

  • Ensemble - el conjunto

  • Full Run-Through - el ensayo general