Why is it called the Green Room? Here’s seven possibilities.

This week, I had dinner with my son in a restaurant called “The Green Room”. I guess that it is called that because it is opposite a theatre.

But why do theatres have a location called the green room? I’ve seen many explanations including:

1) It is a room close to the stage (that is, the green) for actors to meet before going on stage.

2) The waiting room for actors has traditionally been painted green, perhaps because the colour is seen as calming or the colour relieves the actors’ eyes from the glare of the stage.

3) It is a room where understudies to major players would wait and these are the green or inexperienced actors.

4) It is a room where the shrubbery used onstage was stored and the plants made it a cool and comfortable place.

5) It is named after the room behind the scenes at the Blackfriars Theatre in London which happened to be painted green.

6) Before modern make-up was invented, when make-up was first applied by actors it looked greenish.

7) The term might be a corruption of ‘scene room’, the room where scenery was stored and where actors waited to go on stage.


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