Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Word

Last week, I learned a new theatrical term. Tonight, before our performance, we're doing an "Italian".

No, it's not inneundo (which is surprising, considering our director), and it doesn't mean they're buying us spaghetti. Appearently, an Italian is "a quick recitation of our lines so we can identify where we might be missing them".

Now I've been acting as a hobby off and on since the first grade, and I'd never heard the term used. None of the other actors seemed to know the term either. I've always just said "lines only", because that's crystal clear. So now I'm wondering whether our director, a veteran of Broadway and the L.A. scene, is just fucking with us.

Let's find out!

First stop, Most of the entries are the same, and as follows:

I·tal·ian (ĭ-tāl'yən) adj. Of or relating to Italy or its people, language, or culture. n.
A native or inhabitant of Italy.
A person of Italian descent.
The Romance language of the Italians and an official language of Switzerland.

Ok, I didn't know about the Switzerland part, so I've already learned something. But nothing about the theatrical term.

Next stop,, and a search for theatre term italian...

Found a university website that lists common terms, and the only ones under "I" are "impressionism", "in the round", "ingenue", and "intermission". Seems like that university isn't teaching "impressionable ingenues" the word either.

Hmm, italian term papers? Maybe I should try a different search - changing term to terminology...

Found a .gov website with more terms, but we've come up short again! The only "I" words on their list - "interlude" and "intermezzo". Well, it IS a .gov site - you didn't actually expect it to be helpful, did you?

I'm about ready to give up - all I'm finding are websites about operas...

A final search under theatre definitions. (a website glossary of glossaries - from the Department of Redundancies Department maybe?) links me up with several spots online to look. The closest I've come is a definition for Irish Acting - coined earlier this century to describe a lack of gestures but confident delivery of lines. That almost sounds rude...

So there you have it! No one on the World Wide Web has ever heard of the term either! Therefore I must conclude that our director is making it up. She's an actor too, so I'm not surprised - you can't trust actors.

And Sharon, if you're reading this, I'll see you tonight for the "lines only" rehearsal. :)

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