Going to the theater is a special experience, but it's not the same as going to a movie. Here are 10 basic etiquette tips for attending the theater.
Avoid being late by planning to arrive 30 minutes early. If you do arrive late, you may be asked to wait patiently at the back of the theater until there is an appropriate break in the performance during which to find your seat.
Turn off cell phones, pagers, watch alarms, and other electronic devices. If you forget to turn off your cell phone and it rings during the performance, immediately turn it off--do not answer the call. You can always check for messages during the intermission (and turn off the phone before the next Act begins).
Do not talk, whisper, sing, hum, or do needlework during the performance. Remember, you are watching a live performance, not a television program.
Be careful with your refreshments. Wait for intermission, applause, or a loud musical number before unwrapping cough suppressants, crunching ice, or popping the cork from the wine bottle.
Keep your feet on the floornot on the stage or the chair in front of you.
Do not use cameras of any kind during the performance. Copyright laws prohibit photographing or recording a performance. Besides, the clicking sound is annoying to your neighbors, and the flash can momentarily blind the actors.
It's OK to applaud. While applause is usually given after each Act in a play and after a song or dance in a musical, spontaneous applause is always appropriate if a scene, performer, or stage setting is exceptional. Applause is also given at the end of the play to show appreciation, with a standing ovation for an outstanding performance by particular actors or the entire cast.
Remain in your seat until the end of the show. Wait until the house lights are illuminated after the curtain call before preparing to leave. Leaving while a show is in progress is discourteous.
Bring children to age-appropriate productions only. It is unfair to your children to bring them to a show that bores them or that has language or content that disturbs them, and their fidgeting can be intrusive to other patrons. Save your children's theatre-going for a performance intended for them. The RTB has special theater events for children; these are better options for parents who can't leave the kids at home.
Dress up if you'd like to. Our patrons usually dress in business casual attire. However, we'd rather see you in jeans and a sweatshirt than have you not attend due to concern about your outfit. Thank you for making the theater experience memorable for all!