prompt corner

Definition

Theater

  • An area concealed behind the proscenium arch in whichthe prompter sits at a desk or table with his prompt book,ready to feed lines to forgetful actors. The prompt corner is traditionallylocated downstage left in Britain (see prompt side)and downstage right in America. In Continental theaters and operahouses the prompter sits downstage centre hidden by a semicircularhood.

    The US actor George Nash once appeared in a Broadway playwhen he barely knew his lines. The prompter, who disliked Nash, madea point of prompting him slightly before it was really necessary justto demonstrate how poorly he was prepared. After six prompts, Nashstalked over to the prompt corner and hauled the man out on stage,growling, "Since you know the part so well, you have a go."In the second act, the prompter remained silent and only pulled funnyfaces at Nash when he appealed for words. Finally, when the actorpleaded, "Give me a word," the prompter offered an obsceneone. Nash stormed over to the prompt corner and kicked the man, whopursued him back on stage uttering threats.

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