A scenario (from Italian, "that which is pinned to the scenery") is a synthetic description of an event or series of actions and events. In the "Commedia dell'arte" it was an outline of entrances, exits, and action describing the plot of a play that was literally pinned to the back of the scenery. It is also known as "canovaccio" or "that which is pinned to the canvas" of which the scenery was constructed.

Surviving scenari from the Renaissance contain little other than character names, brief descriptions of action, and references to specific lazzi with no further explanation. It is believed that a scenario forms the basis of a fully improvisational performance though it is also likely that they were simple reminders of the plot for those members of the cast who were literate. Modern commedia troupes most often make use of a script with varying degrees of additional improvisation (see improvisational theater).

In the creation of an opera or ballet, a scenario is often developed initially to indicate how the original source, if any, is to be adapted and to summarize the aspects of character, staging, plot, etc. that can be expanded later in a fully developed libretto, or script. This sketch can be helpful in "pitching" the idea to a prospective producer, director, or composer.

A scenario is also an account or synopsis of a projected course of action, events or situations. Scenario development is used in policy planning, organizational development and, generally, when organizations wish to test strategies against uncertain future developments.

Scenarios are widely used by organizations of all types to understand different ways that future events might unfold. Scenario planning or scenario analysis is a complex business process related to futures studies.

Scenarios should "not" be used to forecast what will happen. According to the [ Forecasting Dictionary] , a scenario is “a story about what happened in the future”. Vivid scenarios distort people’s perceptions of the likelihood of the events they describe. Scenarios can therefore be used to overcome resistance to unpopular forecasts. [ Gregory and Duran (2001)] examine principles for the use of scenarios in gaining acceptance of forecasts.

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  • SCÉNARIO — Le terme de scénario (d’un mot italien signifiant «décors») est employé dans le cinéma, mais plus anciennement encore au théâtre et dans la littérature, pour désigner l’intrigue sur laquelle s’appuie un récit en mots, ou en images et en sons.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Scenario — Scénario Réalisation audiovisuelle Les différentes étapes L Art Le métier …   Wikipédia en Français

  • scenario — 1. The pronunciation is normally si nah ri oh in BrE and si nai r i oh in AmE. The plural form is scenarios. 2. The word came into English from Italian in the late 19c as a term for the outline plot of a play, ballet, novel, etc., and was… …   Modern English usage

  • scenario — ит. [шэна/рио], англ. [сина/рио] scénario фр. [сэнарио/] сценарий …   Словарь иностранных музыкальных терминов

  • scenario — (n.) 1878, sketch of the plot of a play, from It. scenario, from L.L. scenarius of stage scenes, from L. scena scene (see SCENE (Cf. scene)). Meaning imagined situation is first recorded 1962 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Scenario — Sce*na ri*o, n. [It.] A preliminary sketch of the plot, or main incidents, of an opera. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Scenarĭo — (ital.), Verzeichniß der aufeinander[40] folgenden Scenen mit wesentlicher Angabe des Inhalts, deren Dialog von den Schauspielern extemporirt wird …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Scenarĭo — (ital., spr. sche ), s. Argument und Scenarium …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • scenario — noun abstract, analysis, brief, capsule, compression, condensation, contents, digest, essence, narrative, outline, plot, recap, recapitulation, report, review, script, sketch, story, sum and substance, summary, synopsis, text Burton s Legal… …   Law dictionary

  • scenario — /ʃe narjo/ s.m. [dal lat. tardo scaenarium spazio per le scene ]. 1. a. (cinem., teatr.) [complesso degli elementi (tavole o tele dipinte, fondale, suppellettili, ecc.) che raffigurano l ambiente in cui si svolge l azione teatrale o… …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • scenario — [n] master plan; sequence of events book, outline, pages, plot, résumé, rundown, scheme, sides, sketch, story line, summary, synopsis; concepts 282,283,660 …   New thesaurus

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