I'm looking for words that refer to the following, in a theatre or cinema context:

  • before the performance (i.e. when people are making their way in, getting to their seats, etc)
  • during the performance (I guess this would just be the "performance", but is there a more specific term for the period of time that the main event is 'live'?)
  • after the performance (when people are making their way out, and music is playing)

Any ideas?

  • 2
    Pre-performance, performance, post-performance. If you need single words. Descriptions are better. Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 21:59
  • @JohnLawler I agree fully with you. You may wish to order your interval drinks before the performance. Please ensure that your mobile phones are switched to silent, during the performance. The restaurant remains open after the performance.
    – WS2
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 22:28
  • @WS2 Unless the bear has chased everyone away. Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 22:48
  • whoever downvoted, please comment to say why
    – callum
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 22:54
  • During the show you normally would refer to speech as Dialogue
    – J Sargent
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


The French provide the answer here. We use après for 'after', most commonly in 'après-ski', which literally means 'after skiing'. So for after a performance, 'après-show'.

'Before' in French is avant, which is in fairly regular usage, either just by itself, 'avant', or more specifically as per the question, 'avant-show'.

During the performance is more difficult. The French for 'now' is maintenant, which doesn't really work in English. And during the performance we are active, and so perhaps the relatively inactive states of before and after a performance need dealing with separately.

  • The trouble is, they don't seem to be commonly used by anglophones. Please add evidence before I decide this answer is unhelpful. Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 22:47
  • How do those differ from "before", "during", and "after", other than sounding hoity-toity.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 18, 2015 at 23:42
  • @HotLicks they also differ just by being uncommon, which is exactly what I'm looking for. Not just for the sake of being different, but so I can use them as names for sections of something.
    – callum
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 0:05
  • @Edwin - depends on who you know I guess - v..common amongst my friends, and they ain't all English; Hot Licks, meet Callum, Callum,.. Hot Licks.
    – JMP
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 6:55
  • I've just been looking at a book on some delightful French villages. I'm trying to think of a more convincing reason not to downvote. Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 9:33

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