raked stage

Definition: A "raked stage" is a theatre stage floor angled from the edge of the stage, near the audience, up toward the back of the stage, furthest from the audience. This angled position of the stage prompted the use of the terms "upstage," "center stage," and "downstage," which are still in use today.

In Shakespearean times, theatres were built with an open area in front of the stage, where the poorest viewers stood to watch performances.

Raking the stage allowed cast members placed behind the immediate action happening nearest the audience to still be seen. Also, when an actor had to cross, he was literally going up the stage or down the stage.

In present time, theatres are designed with the stage floor being flat while the seating in the house is raked up to the lobby.

See also: upstage, US, downstage, DS, center stage, CS

Also Known As: Elizabethan stage, Shakespearean stage

Examples: In older times, stages were raked so all the actors could be seen.