Author Topic: Theatre Etiquette  (Read 13254 times)

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Shea

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Theatre Etiquette
« on: May 31, 2010, 10:07:19 PM »
I work in a theatre, and I see bad etiquette daily (most people, of course, are polite). Here's some rules that I think are important in live theatre.

1) Please arrive on time. If you arrive late, you may not be able to enter the theatre until intermission.

2) If you are unhappy with any aspect of the production, please do not become angry at house staff, who have no control over artistic decisions. Write a comment card, or, if the theatre does not have them, write a letter to the artistic director. In either case, please be civil about it.

3) Be sure to ask about the theatre's policy on food inside the house. If food is not permitted, that means that you may not eat. At all. Just because your sandwich remains in your bag while you pick off little bits of it does not mean you are not eating. If you have a scratchy throat and think you may need cough drops, please unwrap them before the show begins. Theatres usually have excellent acoustics, which means that the entire theatre, including the actors, can hear you rustling your cough drop wrapper. If eating is allowed, do not rustle food wrappers.

4) Please ask before taking pictures in the theatre. In many theatres, the sets are copyrighted, so you cannot take pictures of them. Equally, do not record the show on your cell phone camera or any other device. It may be illegal and is definitely rude, as the light will annoy other patrons.

5) Actually, just turn off all electronic devices. No one wants to be interrupted by your cell phone/pager/blackberry going off. It is very disrespectful to the actors and annoying to other patrons.

6) Remember that this is a live performance, and in all likelihood the actors are aware of what's going on in the house. Therefore, do not talk, make noise with food wrappings/rain jackets/electronic devices or get up and leave the theatre unless absolutely necessary.

7) If you would like to expose your child to theatre (which I am most definitely in favor of) make sure that the show is both appropriate and enjoyable for your child's age and emotional maturity level. PLEASE do your research before you come. Also be sure that your child is capable of sitting quietly through a show.

8 ) If you have any special needs (blindness, hard of hearing, a wheelchair, a walker, a medical condition that means you will almost certainly have to leave the theatre at some point during the show) please notify audience services, preferably when you buy your ticket. Accommodations can almost always be made (a Braille playbill, an audio-description of the action onstage, a seat arranged to comfortably accommodate a service dog, an infrared hearing device, someone to help you to your seat, a seat on the aisle near an exit) but it is much easier if house staff knows in advance and can prepare.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2010, 10:21:58 PM by Shea »


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ccpb1214

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010, 09:31:00 PM »
The object of entering and leaving the theatre is to do so without disturbing anybody else in the audience.

Ideally, you'd wait until intermission. If you can't, wait until the end of musical number, during the applause, to leave.


Going back in shouldn't be so much of a problem because the usher will tell you the right time to go back in (again, which would be at the end of a musical number during the applause).

Lisbeth

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2010, 10:27:16 PM »
Unless the event has been specifically billed as an audience sing-along, keep your mouth shut during the songs.  The audience paid to hear the performers, not you.
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MissBrit

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2010, 03:22:19 PM »
If you must get up during the play with either a fussing child or to talk on your cell phone, please for the love of all that is holy, don't stand behind the sound engineer. It makes his or her job so much harder when all they can here is you (general you) talking or your child fussing and not the show.

Please do not wear really strong perfume and please wash and wear proper antiperspirant, you are sitting in close quarters with people who could be sensitive to scents or BO.

If the theater has an age limit please obey it. Yelling at the house manager won't change the rule.

If you find your child can't sit still through a play, don't just send them into the lobby to run amok while you watch the show. (Yes, I have seen this happen).

Please do research about the theater you are attending if you haven't been there so you know where things like parking are and whether or not you need to bring jackets and blankets if it is outdoor.

The house opens at a specific time and not earlier, this could be because the actors need to warm up or that the crew is doing repairs that involve being in a "hard hat" zone. Have some patience, you will be let in with plenty of time to find your seat. Snapping at ushers or the house manager won't get you in any faster and neither will taking down the barrier ropes and letting yourself in.

Please don't come to the theater completely wasted.

Can you tell I have experience?


Kaylee

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2010, 03:25:04 PM »
Don't say "what?" to any line you think you haven't got.

In fact, don't talk at all.  'Less you want to risk the special hell.

Shea

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2010, 04:05:29 PM »
Don't say "what?" to any line you think you haven't got.

In fact, don't talk at all.  'Less you want to risk the special hell.

I love you. In a totally platonic way.


If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, librarians are a global threat.

Kaylee

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2010, 07:48:32 PM »
Don't say "what?" to any line you think you haven't got.

In fact, don't talk at all.  'Less you want to risk the special hell.

I love you. In a totally platonic way.

Shiny!   :-*

Auntie Mame

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 04:29:44 PM »
The Green Room is for actors and crew members only.  Period.  No you may not just "pop in to fix your lipstick" (you'd be surprised how many people ask to do just that).

Fellow cast and crew members, if you are giving friends and family a tour of the theatre, THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE GREEN ROOM, ever, period.  Yes, people have done that too.
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Auntie Mame

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 04:30:58 PM »
Don't say "what?" to any line you think you haven't got.

In fact, don't talk at all.  'Less you want to risk the special hell.

I love you. In a totally platonic way.

Shiny!   :-*

We shall call it "Our Land"
Auntie needs fuel, black coffee and a side car.

Sabbyfrog2

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2010, 02:18:45 PM »
The Green Room is for actors and crew members only.  Period.  No you may not just "pop in to fix your lipstick" (you'd be surprised how many people ask to do just that).

Fellow cast and crew members, if you are giving friends and family a tour of the theatre, THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE THE GREEN ROOM, ever, period.  Yes, people have done that too.

That goes for junior too. I don't care if he wants to be an actor someday and would love to see the Green Room so he "knows what to expect". He has to actually be IN the show to be in there. If he wants to be an actor, bring him to the auditions and if he gets cast he can see it. But you still can't. Because it's for people IN the show. So there. (We had this happen this weekend actually...*sigh*)

Some more to add to the list:

- Using your cell phone or Blackberry light to read the program the entire show. So. Distracting. Plus, that just means your phone isn't turned off and it could ring at any time thsu causing further distraction. 

- Talking to the sound booth person in the middle of the show is a no no. If you can't hear, find an usher and let them help you find a better seat or get you a hearing device. If it's too loud, again.... find an usher to see about moving seats.

- We also cannot adjust the air conditioner in the middle of the show. If you tend to get cold, bring a sweater with you.

- Stop. Talking. There is no need to have a conversation about the show, AS it's happening. There is also no need to discuss the dinner you had before the show, or where your going after DURING the show.

- We do not refund your money just because you didn't like the show.  We also do not refund your money because you didn't know it was a musical and you hate musicals. Here's a hint: When the title has the words "the musical" in it, it's a pretty sure bet that it's a musical.

- We also do not refund your money because you found it offensive to your 10 year old child. Well, we did say the show was PG-13 and had adult content, adult situations, and and simulated s*x acts on all advertising, on the site where you bought your tickets, at the box office, in the lobby, in the program, and at the curtain speech. You didn't pay attention? Well that's not our problem. (Also happened this weekend)

Venus193

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2010, 01:25:49 AM »
I can't believe I'm posting this at this hour, but here goes:

To the degree possible, be careful that anything you eat the day of the performance doesn't provoke wind.  Failing that, take Bean-O or its equivalent.  This is based on what just happened at the opera this evening.

About halfway through the third act someone in the row in front of me and about three or four seats to the left emitted what comedians refer to as a Silent But Deadly. (TM)  The woman to my immediate left began fanning the air with her Playbill and I was downwind of her.   I remembered I had some Herban Essentials towelettes in my purse and took one out.  I wiped my hands with it and held it in my left hand thereafter, as the lavender scent was strong.  The woman to my left quietly thanked me. 

Fifteen minutes later we were treated to an encore.  I took out another and passed it to this lady, who shared it with the friend she attends with (we're all season ticket holders).  On the way out she said "Thank you so much; now I know what to pack!"

Herban Essentials Towelettes.  Don't leave home without them.

Rosgrana

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2010, 10:08:30 AM »
The overture is part of the performance - treat  it as such.

(My parents still hark back to the performance of Die Fledermaus at which a young woman continued to chatter - very loudly - during the overture, and when many people "SSSHH!"'d her looked annoyed and demanded, "What? It hasn't started yet!" Her companions all cringed and tried to pretend they weren't with her.)

Venus193

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2010, 10:20:13 AM »
Thanks for that one.  Something like that happened last night, too.  During the first break I said to the man on my right "Methinks we be surrounded by opera virgins."  He and his partner laughed.

Considering we were seeing Carmen, this was a likely scenario.

TeamBhakta

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2010, 01:36:20 AM »
- Stop. Talking. There is no need to have a conversation about the show, AS it's happening. There is also no need to discuss the dinner you had before the show, or where your going after DURING the show.

I hate when people do that. One time Donna Douglas (Ellie May from The Beverly Hillbillies) did a big show in my hometown, talking about her life and career. There was a group of women behind me loudly discussing gossip and where they'd bought cute purses. They got rather offended by "Please be quiet. We didn't come to hear you talk." They of course started whining "That's so rude. We can talk if we want. We aren't loud."  ::)

petal

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Re: Theatre Etiquette
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2010, 07:34:18 AM »
last year i travelled  all the way from australia to england.  one of the main things i wanted to do was go to the theatre and see agatha christies "the mousetrap"

it was a play i'd wanted to see for over 20 years.   it was marvellous !!!!!

unfortunately there were a couple of low spots during the play. one  was me sitting behind a very tall woman and me having to lean to one side for the whole play  but no big deal.  the other low spot and one which made me want to take my shoes off and throw them at the offender was a person unwrapping a lolly.   

with a very noisy lolly wrapper.  not just one but half a dozen before people around him had enough and all  "shhhhhhushed" him.



either unwrap your lollies before you get into the theatre or buy ones that aren't noisy to unwrap