Shared from our #VirtualStudio
“Upstage” and “downstage” are directional terms for theatre performers to describe areas of the stage. A director uses these words when blocking a scene. Many of you have seen floor tape on our Stage Space as our way of blocking (showing people where to stand).
“Upstage” means away from the audience, towards the back of the stage. “Downstage” means close to the audience, near the front of the stage.
These terms trace their history to the tradition of raked stages, which are tilted upwards from the front row of the audience towards the back of the performance area. This is one way of making sure that everyone in the audience can see actors at the back of the stage. To walk away from the audience on a raked stage, you head up a ramp... so you literally go “upstage.”
Illustration found online.