The prompt corner
or prompt box
in a theatre
is the location at the side of the stage
where the prompt
(usually the Stage Manager
or Deputy/Assistant Stage Manager) is located in order to coordinate the performance and prompt the performers when required.
Historically, the prompt corner was situated on the (performer's) left side of the stage, therefore Prompt Side
(abbreviated to P or PS) and Opposite Prompt
(OP) (occasionally called "Off Prompt") are widely used terms for stage left
and stage right
In some theatres, the prompt desk is situated on stage right, known as a bastard prompt. In this case stage right and left are known as Bastard Side (BS) and Opposite Bastard (OB). This can cause some confusion for actors in touring shows, when the prompt desk is perceived to be on the 'wrong' side of the stage.
The prompt desk
The prompt corner is usually equipped with a prompt desk to facilitate the coordination of a performance. It can vary from a small table in the wings, to a complete installation in a separated booth. The prompt desk has space for a copy of the script
, and can also include some, all or none of the following features:
- Communications intercom headset, or cans, to talk to the rest of the technical team during a show.
- Red and Green cue lights, to assist with giving cues. In some West End theatres a computerised cue light system is used.
- Telephone communications to Front of House areas.
- Public address system to the rest of the theatre so the stage manager, deputy stage manager (normally the person calling the show) can make announcements or give calls to the foyer ('front of house'), auditorium ('house'), dressing rooms or other 'back of house' area in the theatre.
- A silent fire alarm indicator, such as a strobe light.
- Controls for the safety curtain or other emergency measures.