Box Office – Theatre Etiquette

Theatre Etiquette

We want everyone who attends a live theatre performance to thoroughly enjoy that performance.  Below are a few reminders for attending the theatre that can greatly enhance the experience for all concerned.

Live Theatre: When you go to the theatre, remember that this is not a movie.  The people on the stage can hear and see you.  Your actions and reactions, positive and negative, impact the performers directly.  The actors and artists behind the scenes have literally worked hundreds of hours to create an evening of entertainment for you.  Please show them the respect they deserve.

Coming and Going: Arrive before the performance begins.  For many of our productions, patrons who arrive late cannot be seated.   Arriving early will also allow you to comfortably find a seat, use the restroom, chat with friends, etc. before the production begins.  Please do not enter or leave the auditorium during a performance unless it is a true emergency.

Electronic Devices: Turn off all cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices prior to the performance.  Never speak or text on them during a performance.   Also, remember that in a darkened theatre, the lighted screens on these devices can be extremely distracting to other patrons and performers, so even checking the time on your phone is a “no-no.”

Children in the Theatre: We love toddlers and babies, but crying, fussing, and fidgeting are disturbing to other patrons and actors.  If you would like to bring a child to the theatre, be sure that the language and content is appropriate for your child.  This is often designated on the production poster and advertising.  If you have questions about content, call the theatre.

Food and Drink: No food or drink is allowed in the theatre.

Pictures/Video: Photography or recording of any kind is prohibited during a performance due to safety and copyright requirements.  Production photos are available on our website www.theatrenorthwest.org

Noises: Laughing at jokes and applauding the actors is encouraged, but do not repeat the dialogue, explain the plot to your companion, or comment on the action of the play.  You did not pay to listen to your neighbors, so don’t make them listen to you.  Cough drop and candy wrappers, whether unwrapped quickly or slowly, make a lot of noise.   If you suspect you will need these items, have a supply on hand already unwrapped.  Force yourself to wait for a pause or intermission before rifling through a purse, backpack or other bag.

Curtain Call: The performance is over at the conclusion of the curtain call, which is the time at the end of the when the actors come on stage to take their bows.  Don’t leave during the curtain call.  Wait until it is over and the lights come back up.  Then exit with the rest of the audience.

The Golden Rule: Before and during the production, do unto others (this includes your fellow patrons, actors, and all theatre personnel) as you would have them do unto you.  After you leave the theatre, take a moment to think about what you just saw. (Maybe even talk about it with the person you shared this experience with.)
Enjoy your time at the theatre!