stage direction

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stage direction

an instruction to an actor or director, written into the script of a play
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Stage Direction


a remark added by an author to the text of a play (usually in parentheses) to explain the setting of the action or the appearance and behavior of the characters, including their exits, entrances, movements about the stage, actions, gestures, and intonations. Stage directions sometimes provide supplementary information about characters, such as age, character traits, or biographical details. In the 20th century, biographical and literary stage directions appear in the works of such playwrights as M. Maeterlinck, G. B. Shaw, E. O’Neill, A. Miller, and V. V. Vishnevskii.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In section two, 'Text', the first chapter is Emma Smith's 'Reading Shakespeare's Stage Directions', in which she wants to 'reinstate stage directions in early Shakespeare texts as the property of readers, and as understood instances of a different mode of narration in printed playbooks' (97).
(1) For plentiful examples see the entries for thrust, throne, bed, scaffold, and canopy in A Dictionary of Stage Directions in English Drama, 1580-1642.
II Tamburlaine's stage directions and speeches describing the
Variation in the number and length of stage directions was often linked to how much violent action was shown on the stage, as opposed to being narrated.
Question 2 has generated for me what seems a never-ending study of the stage directions that have survived in the early manuscripts and printed editions, a study enhanced by my colleague, Leslie Thomson, who compiled a database of over twenty-two thousand items from professional plays that formed the basis of our 1999 dictionary.
Accepting Butterworth's hypothesis that conjurers were members of Shakespeare's company supports the application of Butterworth's documented stage illusions to the execution of the sometimes vague stage directions in Shakespeare's plays.
She falls dead and the heroine performs an exorcism, waking her up by spraying water on her as indicated in the stage direction. (69) In Yanmen guan Cunxiao da hu, a tiger is seen dashing forward (Ban hu shang chong ke) and harassing a flock of sheep, and the hero, a shepherd, beats the tiger to death (Zheng mo da si hu ke) and throws it (Zheng mo diu hu ke) across a river.
Evans also uses scene-division, and follows Williams in his stage direction. Jowett, similarly to Wilson, clears the stage with They march about the stage and [exeunt].
From the stage direction, not the text, we learn that Hamlet has become aware that Polonius and Claudius are spying on him and that Ophelia is in on it.
Q2's version is a line shorter, and lacks a stage direction: