THEATER ETIQUETTE

OUR “TOP TEN” LIST OF FRIENDLY REMINDERS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN ATTENDING A PERFORMANCE

 

Going to a play is a special experience, one that you will remember for a long time. The students and staff put in many long hours and a lot of hard work to produce this play for you – our audience. If you keep in mind common courtesy for the performers as well as your fellow audience members, everyone's theatre experience will be optimized. What follows are a few reminders for attending the theatre.

 

1. Lights! When the lights dim, please focus all of your attention on the stage. When the lights go out, the performance is ready to begin. This is your cue to be quiet and ready to listen. Yelling or screaming sends a message to the performers that you are not ready to give them your attention.

 

2. Camera? Cameras and recorders are not allowed in the theater. It is dangerous and distracting for performers as well as other audience members for flash photography, video cameras and other recording devices to be used during a performance. These devices are prohibited in the theater during performances unless authorized by the Director. The plays are copyrighted material. It is illegal to photograph or tape without permission.

 

3. OFF! Turn off cell phones, pagers, watch alarms, and other electronic devices. This is a big problem. If you forgot to turn off your cell phone and it goes off during the performance, immediately turn it off; please do not answer the call. You can always check for messages during the intermission.

 

4. Places Everyone, Places! Be sure that you are in your seat when the performance begins. You won't want to miss any of the excitement. Please visit the restrooms before the performance begins and at intermission. In the event that you must leave your seat during a performance, you will not be allowed to be re-seated until an appropriate break in the performance occurs.

 

5. Break A Leg? It is a common theater expression, but something that we would like to avoid. Walk slowly in the theater. If you must enter or exit your seat during the performance, quietly say "Excuse me," then face towards the front, press closely against the backs of the seats in front of you, and move along the row to the aisle. Remember, every second that you are standing, you are distracting those around you. Open and close the theater doors very quietly. Keep feet on the floor, not on the seat in front of you. Do not drape your legs over the seat in front of you and do not walk on another seat to get in or out of yours.

 

6. Quiet on the Set! Please be considerate of the performers on the stage and of people sitting around you. Whispering and moving around in your seat can disturb the show. Do not talk, whisper, sing, or hum during the performance. Noises that are distracting to the performers or other audience members detract from the enjoyment of the show for everyone. We appreciate your good theater manners. If you bring your child to the theater, prepare them beforehand by telling them about theater manners. Explain that they should be quiet, sit still, and not disturb others around them. If your child disturbs the audience, please take them to the lobby. Please let children know what behavior is expected of them. This is a live performance. In consideration of the performers, as well as other audience members, please let children know that they will be required to sit quietly in their seats for an extended period of time. Children must be accompanied to the restrooms by an adult. Everyone must have a ticket, regardless of age.

 

7. Bravo! Bravo! Your applause at the appropriate time lets the performers on the stage know how much you appreciate their hard work. Spontaneous laughter, applause, and gasps of surprise are welcome at the theater as a part of the connection between the actors and the audience. Shouts, loud comments, or other loud noises are rude and distracting to the

actors and to the audience around you. Performers appreciate enthusiastic applause, but not whistling or shouting. This is not a rock concert. Please do not repeat the dialogue or explain the plot to your companion.

 

8. Time Out! To avoid being late, plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before curtain – we will open the auditorium doors one hour before the curtain. Sometimes unexpected circumstances make it impossible to arrive on time. However, if you arrive late, you must wait patiently until there is a break in the performance. Please do not argue with the ushers about having to wait, they are just doing their job. Get to your seat before the performance begins. You do not want to be disturbed by a late arriver, so do not disturb others.

 

9. Food, Glorious Food! Do not eat and drink during the performance. It’s too distracting, and out of consideration to the actors and your neighbors, save the snacking for intermission. Do not bring food, drink, candy, or gum in the theater.

 

10. Curtain Call! At the end of the performance, during curtain call, don't rush for the exits. It's very rude to the actors. The end means the end of the curtain call. If you are ill and must leave before the show is over, leave as quietly as you can and at an appropriate interval. Please do your best to use the restrooms only during intermission. Should you leave the theatre during a performance you may not be permitted back in until an appropriate interval. It is extremely discourteous to the actors to head for the door before the performance is entirely ended.

 

Encore! Please come back to the theater. When you follow these theater tips, it is a pleasure to have you as our guest. Enjoy the show!
Thank you for making the theater experience memorable for all!

 

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