etiquette in the theatre

Live theatre is a unique experience we want everyone to enjoy. Here are some tips to get your visit off on the right foot.
  • Live theatre is not a movie. The people on the stage can hear and see you. Your reactions fuel them. Your negative actions can also affect them. Respect theirs and the behind-the-scenes folks' work, and they will return the favor with a memorable night.

  • No cell phones: Don't let them ring or buzz during a performance. Do not speak on them during a performance. If you must take an emergency call, leave the auditorium and only begin speaking to your caller once you are away from the rest of the audience. Even your neat watch that chimes or beeps the hour is a distraction.

  • No texting either. That phone lights up in the dark like a beacon and bothers everybody onstage and off.

  • Coming and Going: Please do not enter or leave the auditorium during a performance unless it is an emergency. Please arrive before the performance begins. The time posted is the time the show actually starts...there are no commercials or previews! It is the option of the theatre to prevent audience members from entering the auditorium until intermission or at least a scene change.

  • Noises: You may not notice it, but candy or cough drop wrappers, whether unwrapped quickly or slowly, make a lot of noise! Please don't unwrap them during the performance. If you suspect you will need one, have a supply on hand already unwrapped.

  • Noises, part two: We love babies, but if they fuss or fidget or cry, we want them to be somewhere else.

  • Sight Lines: Be aware that hats and large hairdos impede sightlines.

  • Pictures: Usually photography of any kind is prohibited during a performance. Check with the theatre, and if they do allow you to take pictures, don't use the flash or the video light. If you would like a picture of the cast, ask the house manager. They will probably be happy to assemble the cast after the performance for a short photo session.

Now for some "Do's":

  • DO laugh in the appropriate places.
  • DO applaud with enthusiasm in the appropriate places.
  • DO tell all your friends, after the show, what a great time you had.

Concept and some text for this page borrowed appreciatively from the San Antonio Theatre Coalition website.


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