adverb or adjective
down·​stage | \ ˈdau̇n-ˈstāj How to pronounce downstage (audio) \

Definition of downstage

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : toward or at the front of a theatrical stage
2 : toward a motion-picture or television camera


down·​stage | \ ˈdau̇n-ˌstāj How to pronounce downstage (audio) \

Definition of downstage (Entry 2 of 2)

: the part of a stage that is nearest the audience or camera

Examples of downstage in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Once the opera gets started, all the activity is downstage, leaving a dark, empty space behind. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "Keelhauling Wagner," 4 Mar. 2020 Since the 18th century, orchestras have relied on the leadership of a single individual standing downstage center and waving a baton, sculpting the sound to their preference. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Minnesota Orchestra review: Stutzmann shows us why we need more women leading orchestras," 7 Nov. 2019 With Swanilda, the diagonal is a retreat (downstage right to upstage left); its charm lies in how very little her upper body does and in how that little makes magic. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "New York City Ballet Is in Limbo, but in Bloom," 31 May 2018 Upstage is at the former home of Clockwise Theatre at 221 N. Genesee St., just a few blocks from the downstage venue at 115 N. Genesee St., where the theater festival is being held. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Local playwrights' new works staged during Waukegan Theatre Festival," 23 Jan. 2018 Racine and Anaia open the play downstage center, in glaring light, positioned in a way that invites — no, dares — us to stare at them. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘Is God Is’ Reinvents the Good, the Bad and the Ugly," 18 Feb. 2018 The shows are being held at Three Brothers Theatre's smaller downstage theater. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Local playwrights' new works staged during Waukegan Theatre Festival," 23 Jan. 2018 Baryshnikov's route to the stage takes him through a door at the back of the structure, across its near-empty interior, and finally out a downstage set of doors. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Dance / Poetry / Theater Brodsky/Baryshnikov is a meditation on mortality, with a little bit of dancing," 3 Feb. 2018 Throughout the two-hour program, Mr. Springsteen appeared as approachable and amiable, occasionally wandering downstage to address the assembly. Jim Fusilli, WSJ, "The Boss on Broadway," 12 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downstage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of downstage

Adverb or adjective

1793, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1931, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for downstage

Time Traveler

The first known use of downstage was in 1793

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Cite this Entry

“Downstage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of downstage

: toward the front part of a stage

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