Super Bowl Prep! Football Terms Explained for Theatre People

Special Features   Super Bowl Prep! Football Terms Explained for Theatre People explains football terms for theatre people.
Football Terms HR

Another Super Bowl is heading our. You've been invited to a party, but you're facing a dilemma: You're only educated in theatre! In our below list, explains football terms for theatre people.

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers are coming back to the Super Bowl (just like Cats coming back to Broadway!)

Cheerleaders: Chorus girls.

Coach: Director.


Denver Broncos: These two-time Super Bowl champs are basically War Horse, which won both the Olivier and the Tony Award for Best Play. Plus, the resemblance is uncanny.

End Zone: Backstage, including our dressing rooms. (Hasn't everybody scored in a dressing room before?)

False Start: "Didn't they call places like 15 minutes ago?"

First Down: Scene Change!

Fumble: It's like falling out of your triple pirouette. Ugh.

Hail-Mary Pass: Oh, Lord! In football, this is when the players throw the ball really far in hopes of scoring. In our world, it's like when a theatregoer is trying to "score" tickets to a show via the lottery system. Imagine: You're at Hamilton on 46th Street and your friend is at Wicked on 50th, and you're keeping in touch via cellphone. Your name is called at Hamilton, and now you're running for your life to get there before they skip your name and give the tickets away to someone else. The whole time, you're like, "Hail Mary, full of grace…"

Half Time: Intermission. Substitute a $5 bag of peanut M&Ms for a hotdog.

Huddle: We call this: Prayer Circle.

Instant Replay: "One more time, facing away from the mirror…"

Interception: To best explain this would be to refer to Anna Kendrick in "Camp." (Take note at 50 seconds in!)

Kick Off: The start of the game, otherwise known as the "Overture." Am I right?

Linebacker: These are the big, strong dudes — usually the ones used for lifts.


Option Offense: We're not really sure what this is in football, but it's something like "optioning up," right?

Overtime: When you're thinking, "Okay, how many more encores are there?"

Penalty: When you're thinking, "Did we not take an Equity Ten?"

Punt: In football, a punt is when a player is kicking the ball to the other team — it's a switchover. In theatre, it's like when we're at a put-in. The stage manager is kickin' it to us, and we're just trying to catch up with the rest of the gang because… "OMG. I HAVE A SHOW TONIGHT!"

Quarterback: #TopBilling!

Run the Clock: This is when your scene partner has forgotten his or her entrance, and you're stalling (and praying).

Safety: In football, a safety can happen when a foul is committed or someone is tackled in the end zone (see: End Zone). In theatre, it's like when you run into a flat when you're trying to make it off stage and into the wings.


Sidelines: The wings.

Snap: We used a ton of these in West Side Story!

Sudden Death: We call this: Callbacks (and I think we take it more serious than football players do #sorrynotsorry).

Tight End: We all have tight ends in the theatre, now don't we? This is self-explanatory.

Time Out: "Please be patient, as we are experiencing technical difficulties. We will resume the performance shortly…"

Touchdown: This is when the team finally scores in football. As performers, it seems like we're totally scoring after every number, but let's say that a touchdown is like getting a standing ovation. Haven't you seen those dances they do in the end zone (see: End Zone)? Isn't that what we all do when we run off stage knowing that we #nailedit?

Two-Point Conversion: This sounds complicated, but it's basically when you're trying to sing 32 bars at an audition when they asked for a 16-bar cut.

Vince Lombardi Trophy: The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre

Wide Receivers: Our beloved dressers! They stand there on the sidelines (see: Sidelines) and are totally ready to catch our costumes during a quick change. The game is not to be played without a wide receiver. There's no way Chillina Kennedy could do it alone over at Beautiful.

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