Author Topic: Theatre etiquette to think about  (Read 2070 times)

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Seiryuu

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Theatre etiquette to think about
« on: December 09, 2012, 07:28:18 PM »
I'm a regular reader of NotAlwaysRight and its derivatives, and I came across this story.

So what do you guys think? Is it appropriate to go to a show while coughing to an extent that annoys other people because you have an illness?

bopper

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 07:56:48 PM »
I think it not appropriate to go to a show where you are going to cough that much. Others have paid to hear the show, and you may be preventing them from hearing the show.

JennJenn68

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 08:14:06 PM »
On the few occasions that I've been unfortunate enough to have a coughing fit during any kind of a performance, I have immediately left my seat and sought a quiet place until I can get my throat and lungs to calm down.  Thirty seconds?  Okay, but barely.  Ten minutes?  Sorry, no.  Before the end of the first minute, one knows that it's either going away or it's not, and if it's the latter, one needs to vacate the premises out of consideration for the other patrons.  (This applies whether the person was ill to begin with or simply the unfortunate victim of a tickle that just won't go away.)

This extends, by the way, to people who slowly and loudly unwrap cough candies for a period of time measurable in minutes.  Do it quick or leave the room to do it.  You aren't being subtle; only a deaf person could fail to hear the wrapper scrunching.  (One of my pet peeves; the worst offender is a lady in my choir.  I timed it one time when it was a case of either do that or scream in frustration.  It took her ninety seconds to unwrap that cough candy.  That's an eternity when the minister is trying to make an emphatic point during a sermon.  Egad.)


HorseFreak

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 08:38:52 PM »
I once had to leave an organic chemistry review I really needed since I couldn't stop coughing. I couldn't sit there and disturb 100 other people who needed to learn. No matter the cause, even supposedly cancer in this case, one person does not outweigh the many.

(Which led to me running to the student union, buying cough medicine, having a second thought before throwing away the package and then breaking out in hives from a terrible allergic reaction at the end of the review. Had a cozy ambulance ride and recovered with Benadryl.)

sweetonsno

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 10:56:56 PM »
It's definitely rude. This isn't a situation where a person cannot remove themselves. It is a situation where they choose not to. A coughing fit, natural and generally uncontrollable, is still a coughing fit. I see it like a crying baby. Even parents who have tried their best to plan can't always ensure that junior is going to sit quietly through the entire movie. If it happens that their little one starts to cry, they should take him or her out. The same goes for someone who coughs. If you are responsible for an unintentional disruption, you should remove yourself and the disruption from the situation.

Iris

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 12:29:47 AM »
I'm glad you posted this, because I had similar thoughts. I know we're supposed to think the complainer is dreadful and awful because she was SO MEAN as to complain about someone with CANCER, but my sympathies were with the complainer in this instance. She was rude for pointing at the person who coughed but her initial complaint was justified IMO.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

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cicero

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 04:49:45 AM »
cougher should have left or gone out to cough and then come back.

I'm sorry she has cancer but that still is not OK for her to disturb an entire audience.

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atirial

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 05:10:10 AM »
Ill or not, ruining the show for other people is inconsiderate. She could have stepped out to clear her throat, or taken in a drink to sooth it. It doesn't sound as though she did anything to reduce the inconvenience to other theatre goers.

When I was ill I asked the theatre staff about avoiding disruption. They gave me an aisle seat so I could duck out if needed, so staff can provide assistance if they are asked.

Amava

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 05:38:27 AM »
I hope this story is made up.
I personally have never seen a severely ill person pull their illness as a card to shame others into putting up with any disturbance they create, but I think it is a horrible thing to do.

If this story is not made up, then it is still perfectly possible that the "ill woman" made up her illness to get back at the complainer. I sincerely hope that this is not the case, but it wouldn't surprise me.

lady_disdain

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 05:47:56 AM »
When I woke up with a dreadful cough on the day of the concert of the year, I skipped taking cough medicine (it loosen phlegm so, in the short term, you cough more), I unwrapped a large supply of cough drops and placed them in a small fabric pouch (I called my doctor to be sure about maximum dosages and most effective brand) and I asked the usher at the concert hall if it was possible to change my seat so I was very near the door, for a quick get away if necessary. The theater staff was great and a lucky person traded their off to the side and back seat for my wonderful center and front one. I did manage to be quiet through out the music and didn't need my quick get away. However, I also did everything I could to be sure not to annoy my fellow concert goers. If I started coughing, I would have left the hall, even though it meant I could only get in after the intermission.

My concert hall is also nice enough to have large bowls of cough drops already unwrapped available to all concert goers.

mechtilde

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 05:53:00 AM »
I hope this story is made up.
I personally have never seen a severely ill person pull their illness as a card to shame others into putting up with any disturbance they create, but I think it is a horrible thing to do.

If this story is not made up, then it is still perfectly possible that the "ill woman" made up her illness to get back at the complainer. I sincerely hope that this is not the case, but it wouldn't surprise me.

My thoughts exactly.
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Venus193

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 08:21:24 AM »
When I woke up with a dreadful cough on the day of the concert of the year, I skipped taking cough medicine (it loosen phlegm so, in the short term, you cough more), I unwrapped a large supply of cough drops and placed them in a small fabric pouch (I called my doctor to be sure about maximum dosages and most effective brand) and I asked the usher at the concert hall if it was possible to change my seat so I was very near the door, for a quick get away if necessary. The theater staff was great and a lucky person traded their off to the side and back seat for my wonderful center and front one. I did manage to be quiet through out the music and didn't need my quick get away. However, I also did everything I could to be sure not to annoy my fellow concert goers. If I started coughing, I would have left the hall, even though it meant I could only get in after the intermission.

My concert hall is also nice enough to have large bowls of cough drops already unwrapped available to all concert goers.

This is the best solution I know of.  Avery Fisher Hall in NYC has large bowls of cough drops (wrapped in labels with G-Clefs on them) in the restroom anterooms and signs advising patrons to take what they need.  If I'm unfortunate enough to have a cold on a day I have a concert or opera ticket for I take a movie-candy amount of cough drops with me in a plastic ziplock bag, which I keep in my lap.

Giggity

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 08:24:04 AM »
I'm a regular reader of NotAlwaysRight and its derivatives, and I came across this story.

So what do you guys think? Is it appropriate to go to a show while coughing to an extent that annoys other people because you have an illness?

I think 95% of the stories on that site are fake.

That said, no, it's entirely inappropriate to attend a "listening" event when you have a condition that makes people around you unable to listen.
Words mean things.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Theatre etiquette to think about
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 02:16:16 PM »
This is distracting, not only to the audience, but to the performers as well (been there, done that, bought the T-shirt).

If you can't control a cough you should leave your seat and go out into the lobby (or restroom) until it is sufficiently suppressed.