Stage Directions

Welcome to Behind the Scenes! Today, in honor of the scripts that our Shining Studios Children will hopefully be reading soon, I will give you tips on stage directions!

The definition of stage directions are instructions in the text of a play, especially one indicating the movement, position, or tone of an actor. These are commonly written in Italics and are not to be read aloud by the actors.

In order to understand these, you should know first that stage directions are from the actor’s point of view.

  • Stage Right= Actor’s right
  • Stage Left= Actor’s left
  • Downstage= Towards the audience
  • Upstage= Away from the audience
  • Centerstage= Middle/ In between upstage and downstage

Most published plays use a set of stage directions in an abbreviated form.

  • C= Center
  • D= Downstage
  • DR= Downstage Right
  • DRC= Downstage Right Center
  • DC= Downstage Center
  • DLC= Downstage Left Center
  • DL= Downstage Left
  • R= Right
  • RC= Right Center
  • L= Left
  • LC=Left Center
  • U= Upstage
  • UR= Upstage Right
  • URC= Upstage Right Center
  • UC= Upstage Center
  • ULC= Upstage Left Center
  • UL= Upstage Left

The director will most likely give you more detailed and specific instruction, but knowing the official stage directions will give you a good reference point to better understand the scene and your character’s motivation. Until next time!