Theatre Etiquette Guidelines
THE ROLE OF THE AUDIENCE
When you attend a live theatrical performance, you are not just an observer; you are an active participant in the creation of the moment. In fact, you, the audience, are the magic ingredient needed to transform the rehearsal of a show into a live performance. And while the same show may be performed many times, no two performances are exactly the same because each audience is made up of different people. The performance you attend will be shaped in part by how you and your fellow audience members respond to, and engage with, what is happening on stage.
It is also important to remember that live theatre is exactly that - live. It is happening in real time, performed by and for real people in a shared collective space. Unlike a movie or recorded program, there is no pausing or rewinding the action. If you are distracted for a moment (or if you distract someone else) that moment in the show is lost forever.
When you choose to attend a live theatrical performance, it is understood that you accept the responsibility of your role as a member of the audience. You are agreeing to give your attention to the actors on stage, to be taken on the imaginative journey they are offering, and to allow your fellow audience members to do the same without distraction.
At The Theatre
- Please arrive early. For safety and in order to minimize distractions to the performers and to your fellow audience members, latecomers will not be seated until a suitable break.
- Participate in the performance by sharing your laughter, tears and applause.
- Respect the shared space. Refrain from talking (even whispering) or any activity that disrupts the performance.
- Visit the restroom before the show begins or at intermission. If you must exit the auditorium during the performance, an usher will ask you to wait for an appropriate break in the action.
- Pay attention to all announcements and respect the rules of the theatre; they are designed with your safety and enjoyment in mind.
- Sit in your assigned seat.
- Don’t bring any outside food or drink into the theatre. A variety of snacks and drinks are available for purchase on site. (The only exception is water. If you have a refillable water bottle, you are welcome to bring it with you.)
- Turn off all electronic devices, including cell phones, for the entire duration of the performance.
- Photography and video taping are strictly prohibited during the performance.
- Remember the important role of the audience – the actors need your energy and your attention to make their performances the best they can be!
- Commit to the journey the show takes you on, and allow the whole of the performance, first moment to last, to be a time of inward reflection. Hold onto, try to remember, your thoughts and opinions so that you can share them in a post-show discussion with the rest of your group.
Want to find out more? Visit our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page.
Enjoy the show!