A large tarp of heavy canvas, painted, and laid over the stage deck. Taped, tacked, or stapled down along its perimeter, allows a painted floor treatment complimentary to the production, and also protects the permanent stage surface. Today, touring productions rarely use ground cloths, instead carrying an overall deck and/or a Marley-type floor.
See also focus cloth, a type of ground cloth used exclusively for lighting purposes.
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