Black Box vs Procenium


Active Member
I have seen people mention they have a "black box" or "procenium" theater. What is the difference between them, and are there benefits to one or the other?
I'm not sure what a black box is, but I know we have a procenium. To try to explain the difference is hard just because its a very visual thing. Our procenium is basically a wall, but the edge of a wall. You have your main theatre space that has all the battons over it, and then a section in the front closer to the audience that just has the theatre's ceiling above it. Normally there is a large arching wall or something that seperates these two spaces. That wall or the inside edge of the wall is the procenium as I have always known it. Thats kinda the best I can say, hopefully someone will come in and post a picture.

Here is an image of a "pros" arch theatre

What is the difference between them, and are there benefits to one or the other?

It's less about the benefits and more about the different purposes. As mentioned earlier, a black box is a much more intimate space. It's more suited to small plays, drama, etc. Bad college theatre, things like that. Typically in a small room like "guest" said. There is typically a very low lighting grid that covers the entire room to allow for lots of experimental possibilities.

A procenium is more like a hole in the wall. There is usually not much stage that protrudes beyond the arch, and there is (hopefully) a good deal of wing space on either side, and fly space above.

Guest also mentioned a thrust stage, which is a bit like a procenium, but usually has a good portion of the stage jutting out and surrounded by audience on three sides.
That makes sense. I have only worked with "procenium" type stages. We have built a thrust on one of them, and on another i consider it a "black box" based on your description. this helps make things much more clearer

Users who are viewing this thread