Stage Directions and Body Positions

Stage Directions and Body
What are Stage Directions?
Stage directions tell where an actor is to
move across the stage space.
 It is important to know stage directions in
order to make rehearsals run smoothly
and to help with blocking of scenes.
What is Blocking?
Blocking is the arranging of movement to
be made by the actors during a scene or
play. Blocking directions are written in the
script during rehearsals.
Why is Blocking important?
Blocking becomes important when
planning the movement in scenes.
 Blocking makes the play visually pleasing
and creates beautiful stage pictures.
 Stage Pictures are visual snap-shots the
director creates with the use of stage
directions and blocking.
Balance and Levels
In order to make a pleasing stage picture,
you need balance and levels in your
 Balance: when both sides of the stage
are equally occupied by space, people,
props, and/or furniture.
 Levels: when actors are positioned at
different height levels (sitting, standing,
Stage Directions
Marking Stage Directions
X: cross
 R: right
 L: left
 DS: downstage
 US: upstage
 C: center
 CS: center stage
Mix and Match
X DSR: cross downstage right
 DSL: downstage left
 UPL: upstage left
 CSR: center stage right
Actors and directors use these letters to
write down most of their blocking on
Body Positions
Not only do actors need to be familiar with
where to go on stage, they also need to
know how to position their bodies.
 Body Positions are where your body is
facing on stage.
Full Front
Full Front: the actor faces directly
downstage (facing the audience).
Full Front
One Quarter Turn
One Quarter Turn: a quarter of the body
is turned away from the audience. The
actor stands with the downstage foot and
shoulder open. Downstage foot is placed
towards the audience.
One Quarter Turn
Three Quarter Turn
Three Quarter Turn: Three quarters of
the body is turned away from the
audience. The actor stands with upstage
foot and shoulder open.
Three Quarter Turn
Profile: the actor faces directly right or
left. This is usually used when actors are
arguing or having an intense conversation
with one another.
Full Back
Full Back: the actor is directly facing
upstage. The actor’s back is facing the
audience. This position is not
recommended for use very often.
However, it can be used for a dramatic
Full Back
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