Definition of backstage in US English:



  • 1In or to the backstage area in a theater.

    ‘I went backstage after the show’
    • ‘I had to maneuver my way backstage, through the dressing room, and out the door without making noise and or killing myself.’
    • ‘As we are led backstage, we see dressing rooms that might be private cabins.’
    • ‘Danny stepped away, and cast one last disdainful look at Scott before going backstage, and presumably leaving the theater.’
    • ‘Anyone with an interest in the world of drama, whether on stage or backstage, is encouraged to come along to the meeting and get involved in the activities of the group.’
    • ‘She herself has worked backstage for a marionette theater in Minneapolis, and she taught calligraphy for years.’
    • ‘It's 30 minutes before show time and it's dark and surprisingly quiet backstage at the Gateway Theatre.’
    • ‘We walked back to our dressing room backstage, and I reached forward to Tom, and squeezed his shoulder.’
    • ‘We used a photograph of him taken backstage at the Winter Garden theater to calibrate our time extractor.’
    • ‘I was quite artistic and I studied an arts foundation course at Bradford College and later worked at the Alhambra Theatre backstage, in the box office and on the stage door.’
    • ‘For my part, I left the scene as intended, only to find myself not backstage but in another theatre and invited to keep performing.’
    • ‘I first saw Philip from the wings backstage, he was directing a rehearsal, making some point with the actors.’
    • ‘A special welcome awaits those with an interest in drama either on stage or backstage.’
    • ‘He told the jury that once the £1m cheque had been handed to the soldier, he and his wife were taken backstage to their dressing room.’
    • ‘There's a reason why some theaters have a green-painted lounge backstage.’
    • ‘I stood nervously in the wings, backstage, watching the present act on stage.’
    • ‘Janet found the stage door and wandered backstage.’
    • ‘He put me halfway down once we'd gotten backstage in the small dressing room the guys had been given.’
    • ‘I was light-headed, and it was with difficulty that I followed her when she went backstage to her dressing room.’
    • ‘Also huge for some people, what goes on behind the scenes with all those supermodels at the fashion show backstage?’
    • ‘Then, by coincidence, I met him backstage at a theatre premiere and I didn't recognize him.’
    unobtrusive, unnoticeable, unremarkable, unspectacular, unostentatious, unimposing, undistinguished, unexceptional, modest, unassuming, discreet, hidden, concealed
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    1. 1.1 Not known to the public; in secret.
      ‘we planned our strategies backstage’
      • ‘I wonder who is cutting the deals backstage and what it will look like after this is over.’
      • ‘I should be on the front lines, not making deals backstage.’
      confidential, strictly confidential, secret, top secret, classified, unofficial, off the record, not for publication, not to be made public, not to be disclosed, closet
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  • 1Relating to or situated in the area behind the stage in a theater.

    ‘a backstage tour of the opera house’
    • ‘Masonry was sent crashing onto the backstage area of the theatre prior to last night's show and bosses decided it would be unsafe for the actors to go on and the show was cancelled.’
    • ‘Our search led us deep into the backstage area of the opera house.’
    • ‘She patted me on the back in encouragement, and I ran off to the backstage wings.’
    • ‘It's worth enquiring about backstage tours of both the Royal Shakespeare and Swan theatres.’
    • ‘Operationally, the obvious place to build the extension would have been at the north end of the site, where the existing stage and backstage areas are located.’
    • ‘She was pacing around the wing of the backstage area that she, Logan, and I inhabited before we went on to do our respective parts.’
    • ‘In the exclusive backstage area, superstars and statesmen were falling over each other.’
    • ‘The Theatre Royal will be offering tea and backstage tours during the week - and concessions for International Older People's Day, on October 1.’
    • ‘John shouted running through the backstage dressing room.’
    • ‘Hailey walked over to Theo and Penny, who had tucked themselves into the right wing backstage area.’
    • ‘They ran into Marcus, who'd disappeared as soon as he came off stage, in the fenced in area by the backstage door.’
    • ‘That summer I got myself a job working in a theatre doing the backstage work.’
    • ‘Although there was a space set up as a stage at the front of the audience, complete with a backdrop and a backstage area, it was just as normal for a character to enter from the back of the audience rather than from behind the backdrop.’
    • ‘I hung my head as I entered the backstage dressing room with the guys and got ready to go meet the fans.’
    • ‘Yesterday's thoughts on American gun culture reminded me of something that happened when this middle England muser was a backstage myrmidon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.’
    • ‘This emotion was one I had never been able to handle, and I slunk away from the bright lights and the stage, to the backstage area.’
    • ‘The arguments against the theatre revolve around its backstage facilities and relatively small capacity.’
    • ‘I left the office about 5pm and spent a lot of time wandering around the different backstage sites, dressing rooms and stage areas, to make sure everything went to plan.’
    • ‘She was given a backstage tour, had her picture taken on stage, received signed merchandise from the band and had her seats upgraded to a suite at the side of the stage.’
    • ‘I could have wished there had been more of the legendary theatrical backstage stories.’
    1. 1.1 Kept from public scrutiny; secret.
      ‘backstage deals’
      • ‘Sometimes, moreover, the backstage discussions that occur in public bathrooms are at least partially concerned with a team member's morale or that of the entire team.’
      • ‘But beyond the public turmoil lies a private, backstage world of unrequited love, secret affairs and insecurity.’
      • ‘This exhibit is an exploration of the more private, backstage aspect of the shows.’
      • ‘This in turn would certainly lead to some strange backstage deals.’
      • ‘It said 20 of the 34 projects did not strictly implement bid invitations and some were suspected of backstage deals or business bribery, which had affected the projects' quality.’


  • The area in a theater out of view of the audience, especially in the wings or dressing rooms.

    ‘backstage was the scene of pleasant pandemonium’
    • ‘(The artist in question says:) ‘We've seen plenty of backstages but that happening party scene has eluded us thus far.’’
    • ‘Bar, foyer and backstage are all much improved but the red-plush auditorium retains its intimate charm.’
    • ‘For them, a screen would divide the visible stage from an invisible backstage where scenes would be changed.’
    • ‘Or i could even stalk them, try to get in the backstages, get to see Ryan and give it to him in person.’
    • ‘Today, we walked up to the Crosby Theater and saw the backstage, where the sets and small boat for the show, set to open this Saturday, were stored.’
    • ‘Behind him, the stage, backstage and floor were all teeming with activity in preparation for tonight's concert.’
    • ‘Now once they make their choices, they could call the bands forward from the wings of backstage.’
    • ‘Directly to the north of Gehry's pavilion, with which it shares a backstage, is the Harris Theater of Music and Dance.’
    • ‘The idea is to expand the hall's stage area and backstage as well as building a new entrance hall.’
    • ‘As in any museum or theater experience, there is a public arena and a backstage.’
    • ‘Taped to the one just above my head was an arrow drawn on a sheet of notebook paper, pointing over my head to the backstage on stage right.’
    • ‘Almost every great player has a solid team working backstages to produce the best results possible.’
    • ‘Peter's mother, Peg, worked for Ma most of her life, acquiring in the grimy backstages of the provinces an ambition for stardom, which, when it was frustrated, she focused on her son.’
    • ‘There are backstages now, there's security, there's bodyguards.’