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Theatre Etiquette

Theatre Etiquette2018-06-15T16:09:13+00:00

Don’t forget, no refunds or exchanges.

Purchasing a ticket is required for a live performance and it will be for a specific date and show. Be sure to check your ticket when you buy it, because tickets are not refundable or exchangeable.  For events with multiple performances, be sure to check the date and time on your ticket.

Be On Time

Often in a live performance, audience members will not be admitted if they arrive late, because they disturb the performance for the performers on stage and other audience members. It’s best to arrive about 15 minutes early so that you have time to purchase concessions, find your seat and read the program before the show starts.

Food and Drink

Take care of personal needs (drinks of water or restroom) because you won’t be able to leave your seat until the intermission or until the performance ends. While food and drink is allowed in the theatre, please get rid of gum before you enter the performance hall.

Perfume and Cologne

Go easy with the atomizer; many people are highly allergic to perfume and cologne.

Children at a Performance

If you bring your child, make sure etiquette is part of the experience. Children love learning new things. Parents will be asked to remove disruptive children. All patrons must have a seat, by order of the fire marshal, and this includes children (regardless of age).

When you arrive…

 

An usher will usually greet you and ask for your ticket. With a general admission ticket, you get to pick your own seat. If your ticket has a row and seat number, the usher will check the number and show you to your assigned seat. Be sure to sit in the seat you are given so that you don’t cause confusion for other audience members.

Turn off your cell phone or beeper so that it does not disturb the performance or those seated around you. You’ll be embarrassed if it goes off in the middle of a tense moment of the show and it will break the mood for everyone.

 

During the Performance…

 

Listen!

This is important because you will be hearing actors(or musicians) perform live for you. It’s important that you listen very well so that you don’t miss anything and so that you don’t disturb others around you.  Even during loud rock concerts, it is possible to ruin the experience for those around you.  Please be courteous to those around you so everyone can have an enjoyable experience.

Respond!

This is a live performance before a live audience. Your part is to let the performers know that you appreciate the show. That means laughing at funny parts, cheering when it’s called for, applauding when you like something, and perhaps even shrieking when you are scared. Remember to always respond respectfully and appropriately. These are live actors and their performance will be affected by your reactions.

Be quiet when needed!

Often in the theater we pretend the audience is not there.  That’s why we put the audience in the dark. You have to be quiet and play along. Sometimes you need to pretend you are listening in but not letting anyone know you are there.

Be considerate of those around you!

Don’t kick the back of the seat in front of you, and don’t talk during the performance, because it might disturb those around you.

 

After the performance has ended…

 

Applaud for the Curtain Call!

When the performance is over, the actors will return to the stage for a Curtain Call.  This is the performers way of  thanking the audience for their attention.  it’s important to show your appreciation by applauding for the performers. In some performances, you might hear people applaud or cheer during the performance, and sometimes that’s OK. But often the audience holds their applause until after the performance has ended. When you do applaud, respond enthusiastically. It is not polite to leave during the curtain call. Wait until it is over and then exit with the rest of the audience.

Stand and applaud if you really liked the show!

Actors are thrilled when they receive a “Standing Ovation.” If you want to pay them the highest praise, you might stand and applaud during the curtain call. It’s reserved for only the best performances!  The performers feel a strong sense of pride when many or even all of the patrons stand to applaud them.

 

Fun Myths & Folklore!

 

  • Do not wish anyone involved in the show “Good Luck.”  Say “Break a Leg” instead.  Wishing a person “good luck” is considered bad luck in the theatre.  There are several theories how this superstition began.  In the time of Ancient Greece, people didn’t clap. Instead, they stomped for their appreciation and if they stomped long enough, they would break a leg. Or, some believe the term originated during Elizabethan times when, instead of applause the audience would bang their chairs on the ground—and if they liked it enough, the leg of the chair would break.
  • You should never whistle inside a theatre or else things will drop. This is derived from way back when fly systems were fairly new. Sailors would run the fly systems and would use a whistle as the cue to drop the next thing onto stage. These sailors were often drunk during a show and when an actor would walk across stage whistling, well, BOOM!
  • Never say the name of the infamous Scottish Play “Macbeth” inside the theatre. To cleanse yourself after saying this, you must go outside, spin to your left 3 times, spit over your right shoulder, curse, and knock on the door asking for forgiveness.
  • If you look into a mirror over someone’s shoulder, the person who you are looking over shall have bad luck on stage.
  • There should be no peacock feathers inside a theatre–including the audience.
  • Wearing the colors blue and yellow will cause actors to forget lines.
  • The stage manager taps on the stage 3 times with a stick to drive away the bad spirits.
  • Never speak the last line of a play until the opening performance.