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1. the platform in a theatre where actors perform
2. the. the theatre as a profession
3. short for stagecoach
4. Brit a division of a bus route for which there is a fixed fare
5. any of the various distinct periods of growth or development in the life of an organism, esp an insect
6. the organism itself at such a period of growth
7. a small stratigraphical unit; a subdivision of a rock series or system
8. the platform on a microscope on which the specimen is mounted for examination
9. Electronics a part of a complex circuit, esp one of a number of transistors with the associated elements required to amplify a signal in an amplifier
10. a university subject studied for one academic year



the part of a theater where the action takes place. The modern stage has evolved together with the development of dramaturgy and staging.

In the ancient Greek theater, the action took place in the orchestra, a circular area surrounded by the audience. During the Hellenistic era, the performance was acted on the proskenion, and in the Roman theater, on the proscenium. In the Middle Ages, city and village squares served as stages. As religious performances—mystery, miracle, and morality plays—became prevalent, various types of staging developed. They included the two-storied wagons known as pageants, whose number corresponded to the number of episodes in a given mystery play; a row of scenic structures placed on a rectangular platform facing the audience; and a number of booths, each representing a different locality.

In 16th-century England, platforms located in innyards and surrounded by inner galleries served as stages. During the 17th century, the Shakespearean stage developed in England. This was a raised platform the height of a person; the front spectators stood while watching the performance. Two pillars supporting the stage roof divided the platform into the main and middle stage. At the rear was the inner stage; behind it, in the second tier of the gallery, was the upper stage.

The use of perspective on stage was first achieved in the first half of the 16th century in Italy, when the proscenium arch was painted to depict streets in perspective (1539; architect S. Serlio). The development of wings, or pieces of scenery at the sides of the stage, took place in Italy in the late 16th and early 17th centuries; harmoniously positioned scenery on the right and left sides of the stage combined with the backdrops to create unity on the stage. In 1585 the wing construction known as the telari—a triangular prismatic frame—was introduced in Florence. Movable wings were used in Ravenna in 1639 (architect N. Sabbatini). Machines for moving wings, first used in 1619 in Parma in the Teatro Farnese, became prevalent throughout Europe in the 18th century. In Hamburg in 1794 the German actor and director F. Schroder was the first to use the pavilion—a stage setting on frames, depicting an interior scene.

In the subsequent development of the stage, the box set was further improved with constructions conforming to current needs, technological developments, the requirements of dramaturgy, directorial methods, and the search for new staging methods. In 1884 a stage that could be hydraulically raised and lowered was first used in Budapest, and in 1896 the revolving stage was introduced in Munich by the engineer K. Lautenschläger. Beginning in 1904, the hydraulically elevated stage (elevator stage) was combined with sets on wheels; the combination is widely used in major modern theaters.

The traditional stage is in the form of a closed box giving out onto the auditorium and connected to it by a portal opening called the stage area. The stage’s dimensions are dependent on the dimensions of the stage area: the stage is 2.5–3 times higher than and twice as wide as the stage area. The stage is divided vertically into the gridiron, the acting area, and the cellar floor beneath the stage. The acting area consists of the center stage, the proscenium, the upstage area, and the wings.

Along the right and left side walls of the stage, to a height of 1.5–2 m above the top of the stage area, there are several tiers of galleries for the lighting equipment, the stage mechanisms, and the controls for these mechanisms. The right and left galleries are connected by narrow (0.5 m) catwalks. The stage floor is often equipped with lifts and trapdoors that enable the performers to disappear from the stage floor to the cellar floor and then suddenly to reappear.

The stage floors of drama theaters generally have a revolving stage cut into them. Many modern theaters have offstage scenery bays, which facilitate the continuity of the action. These are areas on the right and left sides of the stage that are 2–3 m greater in depth and height than the dimensions of the stage area. The scenery bays contain movable platforms (wagons) mounted on wheels, each holding the set for an entire act. Wagons from the scenery bays are used together with turntable wagons from the upstage area.


Ekskuzovich, I. V. Tekhnika teatral’noi stseny v proshlom i nastoiashchem. Leningrad, 1930.
Izvekov, N. P. Stsena, parts 1–2. Leningrad-Moscow, 1935–40.
Unruh, W. Theatertechnik. Berlin, 1969.



(aerospace engineering)
A self-propelled separable element of a rocket vehicle or spacecraft.
A circuit containing a single section of an electron tube or equivalent device or two or more similar sections connected in parallel, push-pull, or push-push; it includes all parts connected between the control-grid input terminal of the device and the input terminal of the next adjacent stage.
A developmental phase of an erosion cycle in which landscape features have distinctive characteristic forms.
A phase in the historical development of a geologic feature.
A major subdivision of a glacial epoch.
A time-stratigraphic unit ranking below series and above chronozone, composed of rocks formed during an age of geologic time.
The elevation of the water surface in a stream as measured by a river gage with reference to some arbitrarily selected zero datum. Also knonw as stream stage.
(mining engineering)
A certain length of underground roadway worked by one horse.
A narrow thin dike, especially one where the material of which the dike is composed is soft.
A platform on which mine cars stand.


1. A floor area or platform for dramatic, musical, or other types of performances.
2. Same as staging.


One stage of compressor.
i. In turbine engines, a single turbine wheel having a number of turbine blades. See turbine.
ii. In axial-flow compressors, one disc of rotor blades and the following set of stator vanes.
iii. One complete element of a multistage process, normally compression or expansion, through which fluid is passed, such as the passage of gases through a diffuser.
iv. The sector, or military, portion of an air route between two staging units, sometimes for flight planning purposes. One point on the route.
v. To stage through a staging station. An aircraft proceeding from one airfield to another, or proceeding from an airfield to a target outside its radius of action. To refuel at a staging base.
References in classic literature ?
He made a sorry enough figure as he climbed awkwardly upon the stage, but when he had gained it, he towered full half a head above the other, for all his awkwardness.
Come now--after that walk you're at the beef stage, Dalloway
This stage was called a pageant, and the play which was acted on it was also in time called a pageant.
We ought only to look for a few links, some more closely, some more distantly related to each other; and these links, let them be ever so close, if found in different stages of the same formation, would, by most palaeontologists, be ranked as distinct species.
With no thought of incongruity, too, these writers brought God the Father onto the stage in bodily form, and then, attempting in all sincerity to show him reverence, gilded his face and put into his mouth long speeches of exceedingly tedious declamation.
Even when the stage was being entirely reset, one heard no noise.
Her mother helped her into the stage coach, deposited a bundle and a bouquet of lilacs beside her, superintended the "roping on" behind of an old hair trunk, and finally paid the fare, counting out the silver with great care.
The unhappy lad who led the forlorn hope of the company, in the person of "Sir Anth ony Absolute," expressed the age and irascibility of his character by tottering incessantly at the knees, and thumping the stage perpetually with his stick.
Well, the fireman in question, who had gone to make a round of inspection in the cellars and who, it seems, had ventured a little farther than usual, suddenly reappeared on the stage, pale, scared, trembling, with his eyes starting out of his head, and practically fainted in the arms of the proud mother of little Jammes.
It is proper rather to Comedy, where those who, in the piece, are the deadliest enemies like Orestes and Aegisthus--quit the stage as friends at the close, and no one slays or is slain.
So he set to work with a stick, stirring them up, very much as you would stir up tea in a cup, till most of them had at least one great stupid eye gazing at the stage.
That they had arrived at Edinburgh a few Days before and from thence had made daily Excursions into the Country around in the Stage Coach they were then in, from one of which Excursions they were at that time returning.