The first edition of Theatre Words – which included the five Scandinavian languages and English – was published in 1975 by the Nordic Theatre Union, NTU. Ingrid Luterkort was the main force in the creation of the book, as well as the succeeding editions.

As a direct result of the success of that first edition, a second appeared in 1977 adding German and French to the lexicon.

In 1980, a nine-language edition was published which included English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Swedish, Hungarian, Czech and Russian. OISTAT took part for the first time in the compilation and editing of Theatre Words. Financial support from UNESCO helped that edition become a reality. The third edition went through three printings (with a few minor editorial changes) and was distributed by ”Entré”, the Swedish theatre magazine and publishing house.

The process of creating this edition of New Theatre Words was initiated following an OISTAT Publication and Communication Commission (PCC) meeting in Tblisi, Georgia, in 1988. The demand for a new, more up-to-date vocabulary was universally expressed. It seemed natural to try to create this book using today’s computer technology which would allow for the compilation of as many languages as there was interest for. The Swedish OISTAT Centre and Sttf took on the challenge of co-ordinating this immense revision project. Over the next six years, representatives of the OISTAT PCC, working in co-operation with the Swedes, went through the exhausting and time-consuming process of revising, editing and translating a new version of the international theatre design and technology lexicon.

The completely revised New Theatre Words was printed in 1995 and in 1998 two additional language editions were printed, nTW – central europe and nTW – northern europe.

All editions include 1258 revised words in English, French and German and each word is numbered with a unique index number to make all editions easy to use together. Also included are 250 new illustrations with index numbers. Additional languages to the basic edition were Swedish, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Japanese. The basic edition has gone out of print and is replaced by this World Edition that adds Korean and Russian (Swedish and Dutch are found in the other editions and Italian will be added to the Central Europe edition). Together the three editions that are available today include 23 languages and more are planned to be added.

Additional languages to New Theatre Words: Central Europe are Dutch, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Bulgarian, Russian and Serbian.

Additional languages to New Theatre Words: Northern Europe are Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Russian.

As our international theatre community grows closer and closer together, we hope you will find these additional editions of New Theatre Words to be of the same genuine value as the basic New Theatre Words. Our sincere thanks to Olle Söderberg, Tony Helinsky, the Swedish Centre OISTAT – the Sttf, the Bildcentrum, the members of the OISTAT PCC, the OISTAT centres who hosted our intensive revising sessions and everyone else who contributed to the success of this publication.

John Faulkner, OISTAT PCC Chair, London February 2001
(from Preface to Theatre Words World Edition)

Preface iPhone Editon

The second edition of new Theatre Words: World Edition and the iPhone Edition is an undertake of the Swedish Theatre technician association (Sttf) and the Swedish Theatre technology institute (Stti). Already in 1988 there were grand ideas for digital versions and in 2004 the future was presented. In 2010 we finally can offer what we were aiming for 22 years ago, thanks to advancements in technology. 2010 sees the launch of a printed personalized edition as well as a fully portable digital edition complementing the online version launched in 2004. This advancement in technology has been excellently adapted by Tony Helinsky and his partners. It is a great pleasure for us to bring highly sophisticated technical solutions to theatre technicians and scenographers.

We clearly will not stop here. We look forward to the next phase with revising words and adding more languages. Sttf/Stti calls for a long requested revision of new Theatre Words with new words and languages. We kindly ask all users of this book to write your impressions and thoughts about what can be changed, which languages are missing, and not the least if you will participate in an on-line revision work. Make contact at info@theatrewords.com

Olle Söderberg, editor new Theatre Words, Nolby May 2010

Theatre Words App

In 2010 we launched Theatre Words for iPhone/iPod/iPad.
In 2014 we launched Theatre Words for Android.

We now have 5 iPhone editions available and 2 Android editions.

Theatre Words Personal Edition

We have 28 different Personal Editions with different combinations of the 24 available languages. Here you can find all the editions >>

Theatre Words Personal Edition Custom Made

We offer the possibility to order a Personal Edition with any 8 languages from the available 24 languages. Minimum order is 100 books with the same customization.
Find out more here >>