It is always amazing how many people are unaware of proper theatre etiquette- from Broadway performances to regional shows to annual recital production audiences.
To help combat this issue, I drafted a handout to distribute to the studio’s parents that offered a bit of guidance in appropriate recital etiquette. After all, our students work very hard for their end of year performances, and I strongly believe the students deserve our full respect and attention.
The form reads:
THEATRE ETIQUETTE GUIDE
At our studio, we want everyone to enjoy the recital performances! To enhance everyone’s enjoyment of the show, we believe in emphasizing rules of common theatre etiquette.
- The Magic of a Live Performance: When you attend live performances, please keep in mind that the performers can hear and see you. Your actions and reactions, positive, negative, or disruptive, can impact the performers’ success. All of the dancers have invested time and hard work into their performances, so please show them the respect and courtesy they deserve.
- Entering/Exiting: Please plan your travel so that all of your guests are seated 10-15 minutes prior to the performance starting. Late arrivals are incredibly disruptive. Once you arrive, please do not enter/exit the theatre unless it is a true emergency. There will be an intermission that will permit an opportunity to stand-up, use the restroom, etc.
- Silence & Store Your Technology: Please turn off cell phones, iPods, iPads, and any other electronic devices prior to the performance starting. You should never speak, text, or play games on your electronic devices during a performance. You should also not check your device during a performance since the backlight is incredibly bright and distracting to other audience members.
- Children & Babies: At our studio, we invite all children and babies to attend our performances. If your child becomes upset or fussy during the performance, please feel free to step out into the lobby. A quick change of scenery is often effective in calming upset children.
- Noises: Please refrain from talking, yelling, or using noisemakers during the performances. This is very distracting to our dancers. If you need to unwrap or retrieve anything from your bag, please do this prior to the show starting or during intermission. Any type of noise during the performance can be incredibly distracting to your neighbors.
- Photography/videography: Please remember that photography and videography are not allowed during the recital performances.
- Food/Drink: Food and drink is not allowed in the theatre.
- Curtain Call: The Performance is over at the conclusion of curtain call (when every dancer comes onstage to take their final bow). Audience members should stay for the entire performance and should not leave early during the curtain call. Please stay in your seat until the performance is over and the house lights are raised. Then, exit with the rest of the audience. This policy is in place to show respect to all of our performers.
And, most importantly, remember to enjoy the show! Our dancers have worked very hard, and they will greatly appreciate your applause and enthusiasm for the parts of the show that you enjoy.