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Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a stage presentation created by a theatrical group that includes the actors, stage designer, and composer and that is headed in the modern theater by the director.

In the dramatic theater, preparation for a performance begins with the selection of a play. The type of play chosen is determined by the spiritual and aesthetic needs of the prospective audience and the resources of the company. Keeping in mind the play’s aim, genre, and style, the director interprets the play and its major roles, plans the scenery, costumes, makeup, music, and lighting, and decides on the approach to the dialogue and to the actors’ movements on the stage.

One of the most important aspects in the staging of a performance is the planning of the mise-en-scene. However, the stage sets and properties as well as the performance’s tempo and rhythm become meaningful only with inspired acting. The director’s primary task is therefore to work with the actors during rehearsals. The mise-en-scene is reviewed when the staging has been completed, with the actors in costume and makeup and the performance coordinated to music and sound effects. The lighting effects as well assume their final form at this time. The last stage in the preparation of a performance is the dress rehearsal, which is held in public and which gives the theatrical group an opportunity to understand to what extent their aims have been attained.

The great importance of music, singing, and choreography in the opera and ballet determines the major role played by the conductor and choreographer during the staging of a performance.


Gorchakov, N. M. Rabota rezhissera nad spektaklem. Moscow, 1956. Popov, A. Khudozhestvennaia tselostnost’spektaklia. Moscow, 1959.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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