Thursday, July 27, 2017

Theater Etiquette for Broadway Attendees

Antonio Junior, founder of Florida Conservation in Miami Springs, is an avid traveler in his free time. On several occasions, Antonio Junior of Miami has traveled to New York City to attend Broadway shows.

Many of the rules of audience behavior, including not talking during the show and turning off your cell phone, seem obvious to even the most inexperienced theater-goer. There are, however, many more factors you need to consider if you want to ensure that your fellow audience members and the performers enjoy a smooth performance.

A theater-goer's first act of etiquette is to check the start time of the show and plan to arrive 30 minutes early, or 45 minutes if you need to pick up your ticket. This allows you plenty of time to find an usher who can show you to your seat. If you arrive late, the usher has the extra work of waiting for a break in the action so that he or she can open the door and show you where to go.

Once the show starts, remember that talking is not the only way you might bother others around you. Texting may seem less disruptive, but the light from your screen is likely to distract those around you. And although cheering after every song and for every entrance may seem like showing enthusiasm, it actually disrupts the flow of the action. 

Remember to respect your neighbors' space and keep your arms, legs, and coat in your own space. The same goes for your germs. If you tend to cough, bring a tissue and a pre-unwrapped lozenge. Clearing one's throat makes some noise, but so does the rustling of a lozenge package or wrapper.

Finally, the fallibility of the human condition means that fellow theater-goers may fail to abide by the rules of theater etiquette. Restrain yourself from making disapproving noises or hisses of “Shhh,” as this creates even more noise than that which disturbed you. Remember that the audience paid to hear and see those onstage, not those in the audience.

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