Curtain


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curtain

1. a hanging cloth or similar barrier for concealing all or part of a theatre stage from the audience
2. the end of a scene of a play, opera, etc., marked by the fall or closing of the curtain
3. the rise or opening of the curtain at the start of a performance

Curtain

 

(theater), part of the equipment of a stage or of a theatrical production. The curtain that closes off the stage from the auditorium between scenes, before the beginning and after the end of a performance, and during intervals between acts is called the entr’acte curtain. The curtain that closes off part of the stage during the performance of an interlude on the proscenium is called the interlude curtain. Theater curtains may be parted, raised and lowered, or lit (the light being provided by lighting units). A fireproof curtain is designed to hermetically seal off the stage from the auditorium.

A curtain that dropped into a recess in front of the stage was first used in classical times in Greek and Roman theaters. During the Renaissance, when stages were equipped with gridirons, a raised curtain began to be used. It was usually painted, often by famous artists, with mythological or allegorical themes and harmonized with the decorative scheme of the auditorium. Many theaters built in the 19th and 20th centuries have curtains of this type. In 20th-century theaters a curtain is frequently part of the staging of a play and is made for a specific production. Thus, for example, in 1917 the artist A. la. Golovin painted ten curtains (one for each scene) for M. lu. Lermontov’s The Masquerade performed at the Aleksandrinskii Theater. In the contemporary theater curtains are sometimes dispensed with, according to the director’s intent.

G. V. SHEVELEV


Curtain

 

a section of a fortress wall, usually rectilinear, that connects the facing parts of two neighboring bastions and, with them, forms the bastioned front.

curtain

[′kərt·ən]
(geology)
A thin sheet of dripstone that hangs or projects from a cave wall.
A rock formation connecting two adjacent bastions.
(nucleonics)
A thin shield, usually cadmium, used in a nuclear reactor to shut off a flow of slow neutrons.

curtain wall

curtain wall, 2
1. In a tall building of steel-frame construction, an exterior wall that is non-load-bearing, having no structural function; also see metal curtain wall.
2. In ancient fortifications, an enclosing wall or rampart connecting two bastions or towers.
References in classic literature ?
The curtain down, with a gleeful audience in front and with the dogs back in the room over the stage, Wilton Davis descended to look for Michael, who, instead of cowering in some corner, stood between the legs of the stage-hand, quivering yet from his mishandling and threatening to fight as hard as ever if attacked.
He held the glass in his hand; all he had to do was to vanish back beyond the curtains, flee with it noiselessly into the night on deck, fling it unseen overboard.
The patterns on the gold-worked curtains ran up and down, melting and reforming as the folds shook and quivered to the night wind; and when the talk grew more earnest the jewelled forefinger snapped out little sparks of light between the embroideries.
From behind the shaking curtains came one volley of invective.
It was hastily thrust in by a hillman, and a trickle of thick smoke from each corner of the curtains showed that peace was restored.
She bade the escort tell her what was going on on the road; and so soon as they were clear of the parao she flung back the curtains and peered out, her veil a third across her face.
There was no other place where he could hide, so he popped in behind this curtain.
A dull and dismal light was shed over the bedclothes and curtains surrounding the young girl.
Moreover, heavy curtains were drawn across the windows.
The windows of the study were barred and locked, and heavy dark curtains closed them in.
Even when he had shut the door he said nothing, but went straight to the window and parted the curtains.
William promptly shut the window and drew the curtains.