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Thread: Theatre Etiquette

  1. #1
    Cat Trainer (Trainee??) Andit's Avatar
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    I spend a lot of time in theatres (probably the only person not in the biz who does ).

    Here are some of my pet peeves.

    Food in the theatre.
    Unless it's dinner theatre, no one (least of all the actors) want to smell your dinner or hear you slurping/munching/crunching something. Trust me, your fellow theatre-goers are not happy (and one day you'll find one who isn't too gentle and will let you know to put your food somewhere other than your mouth). If you want the actors and ushers to LOVE you, wrap candies before hand in plastic wrap to avoid the crinkle.


    Touching the stage.
    I know it's tempting, but please don't touch the props, stage, *actors*. Some stages have wiring along the edges, so leaning against them will cause the play to go on in darkness. If an usher asks you to stop leaning and you persist, and if something then happens, you will be ratted out to the rest of the audience as being responsible. You do not want to see a pack of octogenarian ladies out for blood cause their favourite actor cannot perform (I can assure you, it's not a pretty sight). And I`ve seen actors get nasty if you are stupid enough to put your feet on stage, a foot away from the thespian. If an actor accidentally kicks or drops something on your foot, chances are you were somewhere you should not have been.


    Tardiness.
    I realize things happen. Screaming at an usher because you got lost, went to the wrong theatre, left at the last minute and ran into traffic, spent an hour looking for cheap parking in downtown Toronto, or lost track of time on a patio, will not win you any favours. IF it's possible for the usher to take you into the theatre, you will be allowed to go in and sit near the back. You will not be allowed to sit in your front row centre seats. 300 people arrived on time, you will not be allowed to disturb them, nor will you be allowed to annoy the actors on stage. Sometimes, you simply cannot go in to see the show late. Sorry. But if actors are running all around the theatre, in and out of exits, passing by patrons, it's simply too dangerous to enter the theatre. You may watch the performance on a monitor, until such time as it`s safe for you to be taken inside. Which might be intermission. And, no, you may not get a refund (by this point, box office is usually closed and ushers have no access to money or computers).


    Electronic devices.
    Not just cell phones or laptops or DVD players, all things that whistle, beep or emit light. You might think you`re being discrete, trust me, *everyone* knows where you are by the glowing light. And the ushers will not protect you from the rabid octogenarians. Trust me.


    There`s more, but I`m already annoyed thinking of some of the neanderthals. Sigh. Must go play with the critters (who have more sense than some patrons). Even my cat has better manners (won`t say which one, but yes, he has been in a theatre, although he didn't get cast in the current run of Cats).

    I should add that there are many, many wonderful people who go to the theatre. It's the 5% that stand out and ruin things.
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  2. #2
    saddlebag saddlebag's Avatar
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    it's been years since i've been to an actual theatre...these things seem pretty common sense to me!
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    In high school, our drama teacher took us to several productions at Stratford and in Toronto. He made sure we all understood the "rules" of theatre ettiquite and that we obeyed them. We were the best bunch of teenagers in the theatre and he loved that he could proudly take his class out in public.
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  4. #4
    Cat Trainer (Trainee??) Andit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saddlebag View Post
    it's been years since i've been to an actual theatre...these things seem pretty common sense to me!
    You would be surprised. I often volunteer (I work one day a week, but vol at various places) and had a patron scream at me because he didn't like the plot of the play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giddymonkey View Post
    In high school, our drama teacher took us to several productions at Stratford and in Toronto. He made sure we all understood the "rules" of theatre ettiquite and that we obeyed them. We were the best bunch of teenagers in the theatre and he loved that he could proudly take his class out in public.
    I LOVE teachers like that! Unfortunately, they are few and far between. One Shakespearean play, 2 adults were chatting non-stop (the kids were all great). Turns out the 2 were the teachers, sitting nowhere near their students. Sigh.

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    How about all those digital watches that beep on the hour?

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    Feet on the stage drive me insane!!!! Especially in smaller theatres where the stage is actually that close to people. We have a church converted to a theatre where I'm from and EVERYONE in the front row would use the stage as a foot stool. I was tempted to start stepping on ankles during the show I was in, but I'm just evil like that LOL!

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    why is there not a fence, and a gap filled with security guards like at concerts????

  8. #8
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    It's actually kind of funny in terms of Food in England it is normal to bring a whole picnic with you and eat it at the theatre. We were absolutely shocked when we first saw it.
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    Canadian Genius kazm-l's Avatar
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    And if you go to watch a musical - please don't sing along to all the songs regardless of how well you know them. We paid good money to watch and listen to people with talent sing, not listen to you screeching in my ear!
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    Smart Canuck beckie.c's Avatar
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    When I am sitting in one spot for an hour or so, I really don't want to choke on your perfume/colone! Use one spray, that's enough, please don't bathe in it! This happens everywhere, but I find it so much worse when your stuck in one spot at the theatre for a lengthy period of time.
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  11. #11
    Senior Canuck Dayanara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazm-l View Post
    And if you go to watch a musical - please don't sing along to all the songs regardless of how well you know them. We paid good money to watch and listen to people with talent sing, not listen to you screeching in my ear!

    I 100% agree with this.

    But the CD, download the music, then sing along all you want. But leave the theatre to the pros.
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