Common terms explained. If you’re looking for a term that isn’t here, write to



A player who has been given the role of Admin: they then have access to the Admin section of the Studio, where they can approve new players and manage player accounts. Admins can customise the Foyer and edit other players’ stages and media in the Studio.


Public attending a performance, who don’t need to log in to enter the live stage. The audience can chat in the text chat window and use emoticons to express reactions.
Avatar A graphic character that’s held by a player and manipulated on the stage. Avatars can have text2Speech voices: text entered into the chat input field by the player holding the avatar appears in the audience chat window and in graphical speech bubbles on the stage. If the avatar has been given a voice the text will be spoken aloud by the computer.
Backdrop A static or animated image that fills the background area of a stage, behind all other visual media.
Background When a stage is completely empty, with no backdrop showing, it displays the background colour. The default colour is green, and this can be changed in the on-stage Settings tool. The background may be visible to the audience if they don’t have their browser in full screen mode.
Chat Real time text chat for players and audience. Players can choose to hide or expose the audience chat, and have a separate player chat for private communication during performances.
Cyberformance  Live theatrical / artistic performance that’s situated on the internet;
Foyer The home page of an UpStage instance, for example This is where the audience can enter live stages, players can log in, and new players can register an account. The Foyer has links to the UpStage community website ( and to this manual. If you have your own instance of UpStage, you can customise the Foyer.
Guest The guest player role is used for workshops and demonstrations to give someone player access to the on-stage player tools, without having access to the Studio or having to register an account.
A guest is also an audience member who hasn’t given themselves a nickname.
Live action icon
(light bulb) 
This icon appears at the top right-hand corner of all moveable images (avatars, props, streams, drawings and text objects) when they’re placed on the live stage. The default setting is off (white), and until it’s turned on (green) only the player who has put this media item on stage can see it. This allows that player to adjust  parameters such as size, position, opacity, etc. before making it visible. If you turn it off again, it doesn’t make the media item invisible – it means that changes you make to the media item will not be visible to anyone else until you turn the light bulb back on.
Live stream An audio-visual feed sent in real time from a computer or mobile phone, via the internet.
Media Digital files such as images, animations or sounds that have been uploaded to the UpStage server.
Allowable media formats include:
Images: .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .svg,
Audio: .wav, .mpeg, .mp3, .aac, .aacp, .ogg, .webm, .flac.
Video: mp4, .webm, .opgg, .3gp, .flv
Multi-frame A graphical media item (avatar, backdrop or prop) that consists of more than one frame and can be animated on stage to display the sequence of images; one of its specific frames can also be shown as a still image.
Owner A player who has created a stage, or uploaded a media item, is referred to as the owner of that stage or media item.
Player Someone who logs in to UpStage to create and present cyberformances.
Prop A visual media item that can be placed on a stage and manipulated by players. Props can be attached to avatars.
Replay recording
A recording of the messages sent between the browser and the server, which can be replayed to recreate an UpStage performance. Replays are not screen recordings and do not capture live data such as audio-visual streams, but create very light-weight documentation for performances that don’t use streams.
RTMP Stands for ‘real time messaging protocol’, used to stream audio and video over the internet. To send a stream to UpStage you must have software that’s capable of sending an RTMP stream.
Scene A saved arrangement of media on a stage; selecting a scene changes the stage to display all the media saved in that scene, in the positions the media items have been saved in.
Stage The virtual space created in a browser window, where audiences attend performances and players operate digital media to create, rehearse and present performances.
Studio The ‘behind the scenes’ area of UpStage, where players create and prepare their stages, upload and manage media, and other tasks.
Text2Speech Speech synthesis that allows avatars to speak text aloud in computerised voices.