Membership sale! Use promo code JOIN35 and save $7 (reg. $42). Sign up today! See if you qualify to join TDF.

Press & Media

Translate Page

Theatre Development Fund launches the TDF Theatre Dictionary – a video guide to “theatre lingo” by TDF and theatre companies from across North America

Date: Nov 19, 2012
Press Release


Facebook Twitter

Theatre Development Fund, the New York City-based not-for-profit service organization best known for their TKTS Discount Booths, has developed a fun and informative online theatre dictionary .  The TDF Theatre Dictionary is a video guide to common and not-so common theatre lingo. It defines theatre terms with short, original films that have been made by TDF or commissioned from performing arts institutions across North America.  The TDF Theatre Dictionary is accessible at The website homepage has a welcome video starring stage, screen and television star Denis O’Hare.

The Theatre Dictionary empowers audiences by bringing them closer to the theatre’s language, helping them to become ‘theatre insiders.’ It empowers theatre artists by inviting them to make art. It sparks essential conversation by encouraging everyone to celebrate the theatre’s place in our culture.

“At TDF we are always looking for new ways to reach artists and audiences,” said Mark Blankenship, TDF’s Online Content Editor.  “With the dictionary we are striving to create an entertaining, accessible reference tool, while at the same time providing theatre companies a way to create art and reach their audiences. We also wanted to expand the theatre’s role in the online world, and these videos felt like a fresh, creative way to celebrate what theatre artists do.”

The TDF Theatre Dictionary has been launched with 20 “theatre terms” such as “fourth wall,” “peas and carrots,” swing,” strike,” “missed cue,” “table read,” “hybrid theatre,” and “George Spelvin.”  Two new ‘theatre terms’ will be added each month. The videos that describe these terms are paired with in-depth essays on the term being defined, letting the TDF Theatre Dictionary act as a reference tool as well as a video art project. A blog feature also lets users respond with comments, questions, or their own definitions.

Some the arts organizations that have submitted videos for the launch include: Signature Theatre (New York, NY), Actor’s Express (Atlanta, GA), Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (Toronto, CAN) and HERE Arts Theatre (New York, NY)

If theatre organizations want to partner with the TDF Theatre Dictionary, they may use the contact link on the website.

Theatre Development Fund was created in the conviction that the live theatrical arts afford a unique expression of the human condition that must be sustained and nurtured. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Since being founded in 1968, it has become the largest nonprofit performing arts service organization in the United States, returning over $150 million annually to hundreds of productions through a variety of programs. TDF’s programs have provided over 83 million people with access to performances at affordable prices. Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths (no celebrating their 40th year of service), TDF’s membership, outreach, access and education programs — as well as its Costume Collection — help to make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone. Recent TDF honors include a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, a 2012 Tony Honor for Excellence for its Open Doors Arts Education Program and a New York Innovative Theatre Award for its support of the off-Off Broadway community. For more information about TDF, go to: