Some of the guests ended the evening with a backstage tour. I was asked the question: Why is it called the Green Room? I didn’t know the answer. But I looked it up on Wikipedia and copied the article below. All I know is our Green Room is a green room. And that rather rude comment written on the wall is from George Carlin. Just another piece of our history.
A ”green room” is a room in a theater, studio, or other public venue for the accommodation of performers or speakers when not required on the Stage.The first recorded use of the term was in 1701 but the origin of the term is unknown and is the source of many folk etymologies such as:
- In some explanations it is said that the color was a response to limelight; early stage lighting.
- Green is also thought to be a calming and soothing color but this is according to 20th century psychological theories so can not be the origin of the term.
- The most widely accepted origin of the term dates back to Shakespearean theatre. Actors would prepare for their performances in a room filled with plants and shrubs. It was believed that the moisture in the topiary was beneficial to the Actors’ voices.
- Richard Southern, in his studies of Medieval theatre in the round, states that the acting area was “The Green”. The central space, often grass-covered, was used by the actors, while the surrounding space and circular banks were occupied by the spectators. Since then “The Green” has been a traditional actor’s term for the stage. Even in proscenium arch theatres there was a tradition that a green stage cloth should be used for a tragedy. The green room is thus the room on the way to the green.
- It has been suggested that the original ‘green room’ was in a London theatre converted from office buildings. The room behind the stage had previously been used to cut deals and was known as the ‘agreeing room,’ and the phrase has become corrupted over the years.