Understudy

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Understudy Meaning and Definition in Dictionary

Definitions from Wordnet 2.0


  • an actor able to replace a regular performer when required
  • be an understudy or alternate for a role

Definitions from Wiktionary


  • an actor able to replace a regular performer when required

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Understudy Meaning and Definition in Wikipedia


In theater, an understudy is an actor or singer who learns the part of one of the main actors or singers in case they are ill.

If there is an emergency and a main performer is unable to perform, the understudy will take their place. Very often the understudy is a member of the chorus who might have had a small part in the performance anyway. Sometimes an understudy is called a "standby". A standby is usually not a member of the chorus or ensemble. They may be required to be present in the theatre during the performance, or part of it, in case of an emergency.

Sometimes an understudy will become famous when they unexpectedly have to perform instead of the usual lead person.



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Understudy Sample Sentences in News


  • Show Biz and Real Life Collide Behind the Scenes at a Rehearsal In Theresa Rebeck’s “The Understudy,” an Homage to the ...
    Theresa Rebeck’s The Understudy (2008) is a comical, 90-minute, one-act depiction of life in the theater. The setting is a theater during a special rehearsal to help prepare the new understudy for a Broadway premiere of a recently discovered work by Franz Kafka. Read more on this news related to 'Understudy'
  • Theater review: ‘The Understudy
    New play makes for Kafkaesque theater in Princeton                 Read more on this news related to 'Understudy'
  • The Understudy Goes On, Starting Tonight at the McCarter
    Directed by Adam Immerwahr, opening is scheduled for Oct. 17 at 8 PM. The cast features Adam Green as struggling actor (and understudy) Harry; Danielle Skraastad as stage manager Roxanne; and JD Taylor as film star Jake. Read more on this news related to 'Understudy'

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