Theatre Etiquette is about not ruining the experience of other people at the play.
It can begin before you arrive at the theatre
- Arrive to the theatre 10-15 minutes early.
- Visit the restroom before the performance begins.
- Turn off your cell phone or, if it must be on, put it on vibrate. Do not speak on the phone during the performance. If you must call the person back, do it outside the theatre, during intermission or after the show has finished.
- Above all, remember that actors on a stage can see and hear you at the same time you can see and hear them.
- Don’t speak during the performance…whispering is still speaking, so only in an emergency.
- If you must unwrap a candy or cough drop, unwrap it inside your coat, not so that it makes noise with the theatre.
- What can I do if someone is being loud or annoying — without becoming loud or annoying myself? Start by turning, facing them directly, and glaring. This is completely silent, and generally alerts 99 percent of offenders that they’re being offensive. The next step is a sharp “Shh!” or a sotto voce, “Please be quiet.” Do not escalate any further than this yourself. The next step is to alert an usher or the “house manager,” and let them deal with the offender.
- Do not take pictures during the performance. It can be distracting to the actors and can cause a mishap.
- Remain in your seat for the entire performance. If you must leave, exit during intermission. In an emergency, wait for an appropriate break in the show. It is rude to get up in the middle of a quiet moment…rude to the actors and your fellow audience members.
- Do not eat or drink in the theater. Do not put your feet up on the seats and do not kick the seat in front of you.
- Don’t put or throw anything on the stage.
- Do laugh when the performance is funny.
- Do applaud when you think it’s appropriate during the performance.
- Do applaud when the performance is over…this tells the performers and crew that you appreciate their work.
- Stand and applaud if you really thought the show was great. (We love this!)