1. the arch or opening separating the stage from the auditorium together with the area immediately in front of the arch
2. (in ancient theatres) the stage itself
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The portion of a theater stage between the drop curtain and the orchestra.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
the forward part of the stage, the part in front of the proscenium arch and closest to the audience.
In Roman theaters the proscenium was a platform located in front of the stage and used as the acting space (pulpitum). The modern proscenium evolved in 16th-century Italy; for example, the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza had a proscenium 25.72 m wide and 6 m deep. The proscenium in 16th-century England was separated from the stage by a movable curtain or by columns. A spacious proscenium thrusting deeply into the auditorium was a basic feature of British theaters in the 17th and 18th centuries.
There are permanent prosceniums in the Leningrad Young People’s Theater and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (Stratford-on-Avon).
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
1. In the ancient theater, the stage before the scene or back wall.
2. The frame or arch that separates the stage from the seating areas of an auditorium.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.