I’ve seen a lot of theater throughout the years. It’s a passion of mine. Although I’ve never been in many shows, I have been able to accumulate some advice throughout the years that is sure to help the casual theater-goer. I’m sure you don’t want to be bored by everything I have to say, because that could take several pages, so I’m going to leave you three tips here.
This is the absolute bare bones of what you need to know. There are obviously so many more things that go into making a theater experience enjoyable for you and others, but this is definitely a good place to start for those of you who perhaps have never seen a show before. So for the love of God, if you never remember anything else about theater etiquette, please remember these three things.
1.) Unwrap your crinkly snack wrappers before the show starts.
My dad is so guilty of this. When we were in New York last summer, he took my brother and me to go see Violet at the Roundabout. Before we even got into our seats he had somehow managed to acquire a soda, a Twix bar, and a bag of Jolly Ranchers. And sure as shit, every time something vital to the plot would happen, the man would feel the need to go digging for a blue Jolly Rancher. Don’t do that. It’s not just that it’s distracting to the people around you; it’s distracting to the people on stage. It’s weird, I know, but no matter how quiet you think you’re being, they can always hear you on stage. I know from experience.
2.) Never be disappointed to see an understudy.
Understudies really are the hidden gems of theater. Just trust me on this one. Some are even better than the leads in my experience.
3.) The show is not over until curtain call is over!
Say it out loud. Say it again. This is not your opportunity to make it out to your car before the parking garage gets crowded. This is not your chance to get to the merchandise table before there’s a line. This is your opportunity to thank the performers for a job well done. The curtain call is the only acknowledgement that these people get for their months or even years of workshops, weeks of tech rehearsals, and hours of warm-up, so that they can give you, the audience member, a magical night at the theater. The least you can do is clap for them.
So there you have it! Three vital tips for the casual theater-goer! If you fear I’ve missed something or disagree with anything that I’ve said, feel free to leave a comment explaining your views. I understand that my opinion isn’t the only one, so leave a comment and let me now what your top three pieces of advice for a theater patron would be!
Have a wonderful evening~