While translating a text I came across the expression: "cross down". The whole line (It's a play) is: "Beautiful. Cross down." And expresses kind of approval. Do you know the phrase? does it come from sporsts? Like "one point" or something alike? I cannot find it on the net.

  • 5
    Please link to the play and indicate where this line occurs. Meaning is often shown by more than a single line.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jan 20, 2019 at 13:32
  • Is the person being spoken to holding a cross that they need to put down? Or do they have a list of words that includes "down" and they need to cross it out? Jan 20, 2019 at 14:55
  • Cannot find such in any registries.
    – lbf
    Jan 20, 2019 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


This appears to be from Venus in Fur, by David Ives. The character speaking, Vanda, is directing her fellow-actor Thomas. Beautiful is a comment on his delivery of the preceding line; cross down in theatrical jargon is a direction to move ("cross") downstage = toward the audience.

Similarly, up would mean upstage = away from the audience, and right and left would mean stage right/stage left = to the right or left side of the stage from the actor's perspective.

  • Yes, thank you very much. I am consulting other theatrical expressions with an actor. Nevertheless, this one was unknown to them.
    – Christina
    Jan 20, 2019 at 13:44
  • 1
    @Christina That's very odd if your consultant is a stage actor; the expression has been standard in the Anglo-American theatre for generations. Jan 20, 2019 at 13:47
  • He is an English speaking actor, not a native one. Giving the references for the language I am translating to. For example in English it is "stage left", but during rehearsals we use "director's left" and similar cases.
    – Christina
    Jan 20, 2019 at 13:52
  • Wouldn't the ‘cross’ indicate that the actor should move sideways (left or right) as well as downstage — i.e. moving diagonally? But yes, this does seem like theatrical jargon that most non-actors probably wouldn't know.
    – gidds
    Jan 20, 2019 at 18:43
  • 1
    @gidds No. Any movement is a "cross". "Cross down" describes the direction: "move downstage of your current position". A more complex direction would ordinarily name the destination (eg "Cross up right/down right center") but with a distance describes the direction: "Cross three steps down right". Note that in most modern stagings directions of this sort will be modified by reference to props: "Move down of or below the sofa". Jan 20, 2019 at 20:02

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