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ClassACTS! Connecting Students To A World of Culture

Etiquette Guide


Etiquette Guide

Attending a live performance is very different than going to a movie...the performers onstage can see and hear what goes on in the audience, so practicing appropriate theater etiquette will help make your visit an enjoyable and memorable experience for everyone.


Here are some things to remember:

  • Arrive Promptly.
  • Visit the restrooms and drinking fountain before entering the theater.
  • Enter the seating area quiety and in an orderly manner.
  • TURN OFF ALL cell phones, pagers, beepers, alarms, anything that can disturb the production, actors, and the audience members during the performance.
  • While waiting for the performance to begin, talk quietly and stay seated.
  • At the beginning of a performance, or during certain scenes, the lights are dimmed. It is okay to be excited, but limit your voice and actions to reflect appropriate "indoor" behavior.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of this theatrical convention by sitting calmly when the lights go out.
  • A live performance is a shared experience between the actors onstage and the audience. Laughter, tears, gasps of surprise, and appreciative applause are all common and welcome reactions. Whistling and shouting are not polite.
  • Avoid leaving your seat during a performance unless it is an emergency situation.
  • Show respect for the actors by giving them your full attention during the performance.
  • Taking photographs is distracting to the other members of the audience Taking flash photography is prohibited during a performance. The flash may cause serious accidents to the performers who may be momentarily blinded or distracted.
  • Tape recording or video recording a live performance without written permission from the theatre company is a serious violation of copyright law.
  • Show your appreciation for the work of the actors and technicians by applauding at the end of the performance and when the actors take their bows.
  • When the performance is over, wait patiently for your turn to exit.
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