Theatre Etiquette

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Theatre Etiquette

Going to a play is a special experience, one that you will remember for a long time. Everyone in the audience has been looking forward to seeing the performance.
There is a big difference in going to a theatre and to a movie. The actors are performing for you live onstage, and they can see and hear what goes on in the audience just as you can see and hear them. So one behaves a little different than when you are at the movies or at home watching TV.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Wayside Theatre, 2010

Some things to remember:

  • Stay with your group at all times. Wait for the ushers to help find your seat – they’ll want to see your ticket to make sure everyone is in the right place.
  • Lights will dim just before a performance, then go dark. Show your knowledge by sitting calmly.
  • No talking or whispering during the performance.
  • TURN OFF ALL cell phones, pagers, beepers, alarms, any thing that can disturb the production, actors and the audience members during the performance. It is very impolite to have it go off during a performance.
  • Laughter at appropriate times only.
  • Clap with enthusiasm.
  • One needs to be still, no shuffling, or getting up during a performance.
    Keep body movements to a minimum. You can’t get up and move around during the performance.
  • No chewing gum or eating during the performance. In the theatre snacks are at intermission. Also, no drinking, smoking, or hats on during a performance.
  • One goes to the bathroom or gets a drink before seating for performance or at intermission ONLY.
  • Show appreciation by clapping. The actors love to hear applause. This shows how much you enjoyed it.
  • Don’t leave your seat until the cast has taken their curtain call at the end. When the performance ends, wait patiently to exit.
  • Be polite and attentive. Many people come to see a show for a special occasion like birthdays, holidays, etc.; you can help keep their evening special.
    No taking of pictures is allowed.