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3. Discuss the points:

  • Many producers are interested only in films with great box-office potential rather than ones of artistic value.

  • Thу film industry is confronted with the task of surviving in the face of tough competition from TV and the video business.

  • Censorship.

  • What can the cinema offer that the theatre can’t?


Vocabulary study. Words in context


Introductory text

The 20th century brought great changes into the theatre. Television, radio, cinema, video altered the course of the major performing arts and created the new ones. But still there are hundreds of musical comedy theatres, drama theatres, opera houses, puppet theatres, philharmonics and conservatoires where the audience is excited at the prospect of seeing a play and the actors are most encouraged by the warm reception. But first, I'd like to tell you some words about the theatre. It is a building where plays, operas or ballets are performed. Of course, it has a stage for the actors and an auditorium where the audience sits. The curtain usually separates the stage from the auditorium. As a rule, the curtain is dropped or lowered between the scenes or acts of a play. The most expensive seats are in the stalls, boxes and dress-circles. The seats in the balcony, pit and the upper circle are comparatively cheaper. An intricate system of lights illuminates the stage. While the curtain is down, the workers on the stage can change the scenery and prepare the stage for the next part of the performance.

A play lives a long life before it makes its appearance on the stage before the audience. It is a real part of art and its creation calls for inspiration, talent and artistic ingenuity. A playwright conceives an idea and after months of hard work his idea develops into the script of the play. Finally, when everything is ready and the rehearsal goes off without a hitch, a dress rehearsal is called. After some time the curtain rises, the play faces the audience on its first night. As for me, I am not much of a theatre-goer but sometimes I like to go to the theatre with my friends or relatives just to relax. But I'll never forget my last visit to the Ivan Franko Ukrainian Drama Theatre. My mother bought two tickets at the advance box-office for the performance "Eneiyda." It was a stage version based on the Kotlyarevsky's novel.

There were brilliant actors and actresses in the cast, I should admit. The leading actor was inexpressibly moving and top favourite. It seemed to me he was at his best and the play kept the audience in suspense from beginning to end. The company gave the truly remarkable play — moving, captivating, provoking laughter and tears by turns. Besides, it was a great educational value. During the interval everybody talked about the brilliant acting of the actors.

The concluding scene was exciting enough, the final moment was thrilling and unforgettable. The actors received a tremendous acclamation from the packed audience. There was no doubt it was warmly received by the audience, many of pieces were encored. I admired everything: the wonderful scenery, marvelous acting, charming music. And it was obvious that the play was a great success.


Exercise 1. Comprehension questions.

  1. What are great changes that the 20lh century brought into the theatre?

  2. Can you say what the theatre is?

  3. Where are the best / the cheapest seats in the theatre?

  4. What is the puppet theatre?

  5. What is the curtain used for?

  6. When and how do you book seats for the theatre?

  7. When do actors receive calls?

  1. How is that each person in a large audience can see the actors on the stage without discomfort?

9. What is the difference between a cinema and a theatre? Which do you prefer?

10.Which of the two, the theatre or the cinema, is more popular in our country? Why do you think it is so?

11.What role does the theatre play in our life?

12.How often do you go to the theatre? When was the last time you went to the theatre?

  1. Which Ukrainian (Russian) play appeals to you deeply? Give your reasons.

  2. Who is your favourite actor (actress)?

  3. What is the price of admission?

  1. Which plays that are on now in your city are a success?

  2. Are you fond of ballet? Which ballet do you like best of all?

  1. Can you name the most popular theatrical companies in Kyiv, Kharkiv (Ukraine), Moscow (Russia)?

Exercise 2. Find in the text equivalents to the following words and phrases.

Виконавчі різновиди мистецтва, ляльковий театр, мати великий успіх, неймовірно зворушливий, викликати на біс, театральні декорації, купити квитки, захоплюючий, інсценування, склад виконавців, прем’єра, мати велике виховне значення, освітлювати, тримати глядачів у напрузі від початку до кінця вистави, показуватися (з’являтися), що викликає по черзі то сміх, то сльози, справді чудова п’єса, заключна сцена, одержати грандiозну овацiю, натхнення, надихати, змінюватися.

Exercise 3. Fill in the missing words from the text.

1. Television, radio, cinema, video _____ the course of the major performing arts and _____ the new ones.

2. My mother bought two tickets at the box-office for the Eneiyda ______ .

  1. The most seats are in the stalls, boxes and dress-circles.

  2. And it was obvious that the play was a great ______.

  3. But still there are hundreds of ______ comedy theatres, drama theatres, _______ houses, ______ theatres, philharmonics and ________.

  1. The actors received a tremendous _____ from the packed ______.

  2. A conceives an idea and after months of hard work his idea develops into the ______ of the play.

  1. Besides, it was a great ______ value.

  2. While the ______ is down, the workers on the stage can change the _____ and prepare the stage for the next part of the _______.

10. I ________ everything: the wonderful scenery, marvelous _____ , charming music.

11 .The curtain usually separates the _______ from the ______ .

12. There were _________ actors and actresses in the ______ , I should admit.

13. After some time the curtain rises, the play faces the ______ on its first ______.

14. The company gave the truly remarkable play — moving, captivating, _____ laughter and tears _____ .



to be popular with

to do (to show) a new play

to be on

to be in the repertoir

to be off

to have a long run

to command a view / to have a clear sight

the house is sold out / "House full"

to be a success/ to be a failure

to book seats

to exchange tickets for another


poster (Am. bill-board)

play-bill, programme

to contribute to

an advance box-office / booking office

ticket agency

seating plan


cloak-room ticket (check)






behind the scenes (wings)

to go backstage

orchestra pit

gangway (Am. — aisle)

row / front rows / back rows


orchestra stalls

curtain falls (drops) /rises (goes up)

lights go down / go up

emergency exit

ladies / gents






Mind the use of prepositions

on the front (back) row

in the fifth row

in the boxes

Theatre Building

centre stalls

rear stalls


dress circle




gallery, the “gods”

on/in the balcony

in the pit

in the (orchestra) stalls

in the dress circle

in the gallery

in the "gods"

in the wings

Types of Theatres

musical comedy theatre

opera and ballet house

drama theatre (playhouse) named after…

philharmonic society


art theatre

amateur theatre

theatre for young spectators

variety theatre

travelling company

touring company

on tour company

comedy theatre

puppet theatre


matinee (performance)

evening performance


variety show



satirical play

dramatic play


musical comedy





opening performance (opening night: first night)


gala presentation (gala night)

first night



new season

a play (an opera) begins its run on June 10


Who is Who in the Theatre



actor, actress







usher, usherette

spectator / audience











amateur actor


prima ballerina assoluta

the leading role /the lead / actor playing the leading role / the starring actor

to be in the title role


minor characters

hero, heroine

stunt man





to be in the cast

to act the part (role) of

curtain call

to take (receive) a curtain call / to take one's call / to take the curtain

to receive an acclamation

to applaud / to clap

to burst into applaud

Additional Words and Expressions

to be at one's best / to be at one's worst

to go on the stage

to tune up

to be about to begin

exchanging impressions about the performance

to discuss the merits and demerits of the play

to be absolutely thrilled with

to be deeply (visibly) moved

to impress

the opening (concluding) scene is wonderful

the performance has aroused much admiration

the final moment of the play was extremely thrilling (dramatic, tragic, unforgettable, moving)

the leading actor was a great interpretative artist

the company gave a play full of great educational value

to arouse a feeling of spiritual enrichment

the performance is a great success

the play bored me

the actors' playing was artificial and colourless

the play was a failure

poor acting

The Performance

What's playing at this theatre tonight?

What performance do you recommend?

Is there any chance of getting tickets?

Do you have an extra ticket?

Will it be difficult to get tickets for the first night?

Do you have any seats (tickets) for Sunday evening?

I'd like to reserve two tickets for Saturday performance.

What tickets are the cheapest?

When does the performance begin?

Where are our seats?

Our seats are in the orchestra stalls (in the stalls, in the pit, in the box, in the dress- circle, on the balcony).

I'd like to leave my things at the cloak-room.

May I take my check?

Could you give me opera-glasses?

During the interval we can go into foyer (refreshment).

Please, show our seats.

Who is the stage producer?

What's on the programme?

Where can I see the theatre repertoire?

I enjoyed it very much.

The play is boring.

Who is on tour here?

What companies are dancing?

I prefer comedy to opera.

The concerts of this ensemble are very successful.

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