||A Guide To Theatre Etiquette
Theatre, unlike movies or television, is a LIVE performance. This means that
the action unfolds right in front of an audience. The performance, though
well-rehearsed, is constantly evolving. The actors respond to the audience:
laughter, clapping, gasps and general reactions. Therefore the audience is a
critical part of the theatre experience. In fact, without the audience, the
actors would still be in rehearsal!
As an audience member, it is important to observe certain etiquette so that you
may enjoy the best theatre experience possible.
- When the performance is about to begin, the lights will dim. This is a signal
for the actors and the audience to put aside concerns and conversation and
settle into the world of the play.
- The performers expect the audience's full attention and focus. This is the
time for the audience to think inwardly, not a time to express your thoughts
aloud. Talking to neighbors (even whispering) carries easily to others in the
audience and to the actors onstage.
- There is no food in the theatre: soda, candy, and other snacks are noisy and
therefore, distracting. (Not to mention messy!)
- Walking through the aisles during the performance is disruptive. Actors
occasionally use the aisles and stairways as entrances and exits. The actors
will notice any movement in the performance space.
- Please use the restroom and take care of all other concerns before the show,
or at intermission.
- Cell phones, pagers, watch alarms and other electronic devices must be turned
off before the performance begins. When noisy objects of this type go off it is
very distracting for the actors and audience.
- Please no photography of any kind during performances.
- Absolutely no text messaging.
Again, attending a live performance is a time to sit back and look inward,
question what is being presented to you and be curious about worlds that are
different than yours. As theatre artists we approach our audiences with respect
and expect the same in return.
Live theatre offers the opportunity to experience new ideas and discover people
and lives previously unknown to you. Your open mind, curiosity, and respect
will allow a whole other world to unfold right before your eyes!