Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

An idea for audience etiquette


  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 fandeballet

fandeballet

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts

Posted 10 July 2005 - 09:49 PM

I have been thinking when the program at the MET would have the do's and don'ts of how people should act during a performance.

I think we should request that should be done on permanent basis.

Could we think of doing that somewhere on this website???????????????

It could be the start of a movement of more civility, perhaps. We owe it to ourselves and others to try. :angry2: :wallbash:

#2 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 11 July 2005 - 04:20 AM

The Kennedy Center as a page about theater etiquette in its playbill. I'm surprised places like the Met haven't followed suit.

#3 MichelleW

MichelleW

    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 11 July 2005 - 07:56 AM

A girlfriend and I call the disturbing phenomenon of the enthusiastically shouted "waaaahooooooooooooooooo" at the ballet, opera or theater the "NASCAR phenomenon." I would contend that it seems to have become far more prevalent in the last 10-15 years.

We had a lively discussion about it just prior to curtain at the Kennedy Center's Kirov performance last Friday night, so we were well pleased to hear a chorus of enthusiastic "Bravo" and "Bravas" coming from all around us in the audience.

Edited by MichelleW, 11 July 2005 - 08:00 AM.


#4 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 11 July 2005 - 11:38 AM

For those who missed it last spring, here's a pretty interesting exchange about the topic of bravo v. wahoo etc. here:

Link

#5 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 11 July 2005 - 12:05 PM

fandeballet, I like your suggestion for a list of etiquette guidelines on the site--perhaps it could be a sticky in one of the forums.

#6 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 11 July 2005 - 01:19 PM

Hans is right -- a good idea for a this site, and it would be interesting to see what sort of do's and don'ts we could actually agree upon.

The problem with "How to Behave at the Ballet" guidelines in ballet programs -- and, in at least one case I've seen, a major part of the subscription information package -- is that people who need them don't read them, and people who don't need them feel somehow condescended to.

Audiences at classical arts performances are already SO FAR AHEAD of the general public in terms of controlling their behavior and respecting the experience of their neighbors. How much further can they move from what's considered the normin most other forms of public entertaiment?

#7 Mrs. Stahlbaum

Mrs. Stahlbaum

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 53 posts

Posted 11 July 2005 - 05:26 PM

Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here's a link to Houston Ballet's website with guidelines on children attending ballets.

#8 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 11 July 2005 - 05:58 PM

Maybe the theater could learn something from the Royal Opera House and have bewigged and liveried footmen at either side of the proscenium - then give them each a .30 caliber M1917 Browning Automatic Rifle and tell them to blast anybody who is naughty. :devil:

#9 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 11 July 2005 - 07:53 PM

I think that after the conductor takes the podium, the lead couple should emerge before the curtain and say:

Ladies and gentlemen,
We've worked very hard to give you an enjoyable, satisfying experience tonight.  In consideration of your fellow audience members, please do not talk or whisper, hum, open candies, allow your cell phone to ring, lean forward in your seat, fuss, fidget, snore or engage in other rude, self-centered behavior.


As for this site, I think posting a sticky would be preaching to the choir. We're not the problem.

#10 fandeballet

fandeballet

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts

Posted 12 July 2005 - 07:09 AM

OK, we don't need a guideline for this website. But, could we petition performing arts venues and/or troupes to set minimum age and "consideration of your fellow audience members" guidelines??? A grassroots type of campaign???????? We have to stop complaining and try to do something about the downward trend of audience conduct!!! :devil: :yahoo:

#11 E Johnson

E Johnson

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 187 posts

Posted 12 July 2005 - 07:17 AM

NYCB distributes a set of guidelines for children, but really they apply to everyone. Don't make noise, go to the bathroom ahead of time, etc. (I drummed these into my son's head so well that when I answered one of his questions during The Nutcracker quietly, he whispered back very clearly "Mommy! at the ballet you have to WHISPER!" As for minimum ages: he was three when he said this. )

#12 fandeballet

fandeballet

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts

Posted 12 July 2005 - 07:51 AM

Again, it shows that there will be many exceptions. But, it came down to the fact that Mr. Johnson did his homework. And knew his child's capabilities. My girls were around 4 when they sat down for their 1st opera(1act only) or a ballet. But there are alot of parents who don't have a clue about what they are doing when bringing their child to a theater like the MET.

#13 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,418 posts

Posted 12 July 2005 - 08:21 AM

But there are alot of parents who don't have a clue about what they are doing when bringing their child to a theater like the MET.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That is true if one gives them the benefit of the doubt and says that they have simply become oblivious to any noise their children make or it is a misguided attempt to train a child to behave in a theater.

Unfortunately, many do know what they are doing -- saving the trouble and cost of hiring a babysitter, and bringing children who are too young or immature or unprepared to understand their setting -- but that doesn't translate into consideration for their fellow audience members.

The "but I spent $100 on these seats, including one for Kid, and I'm not leaving now" or "It would break Older Child's heart to leave because Younger Child is crying" arguments doesn't hold water, although they hold sway. One of the tradeoffs of training children for the theater is the willingness to bail when the child is unable to behave properly, and to consider the tickets a sunk cost, and to prepare Older Child for the possibility. (Don't bet what you're not willing to lose.) To the argument that then the child has "won," perhaps, the battle, but not the war, which is a longer-term prospect, and it could be a while before the child is invited to the next performance.

Teaching a child to behave in the theater is a process, and teaching mode is about the student and the "material." If the teacher/parent gets to see a performance in the process, that's gravy.

#14 fandeballet

fandeballet

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts

Posted 12 July 2005 - 08:44 AM

But there are alot of parents who don't have a clue about what they are doing when bringing their child to a theater like the MET.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That is true if one gives them the benefit of the doubt and says that they have simply become oblivious to any noise their children make or it is a misguided attempt to train a child to behave in a theater.

Unfortunately, many do know what they are doing -- saving the trouble and cost of hiring a babysitter, and bringing children who are too young or immature or unprepared to understand their setting -- but that doesn't translate into consideration for their fellow audience members.

The "but I spent $100 on these seats, including one for Kid, and I'm not leaving now" or "It would break Older Child's heart to leave because Younger Child is crying" arguments doesn't hold water, although they hold sway. One of the tradeoffs of training children for the theater is the willingness to bail when the child is unable to behave properly, and to consider the tickets a sunk cost, and to prepare Older Child for the possibility. (Don't bet what you're not willing to lose.) To the argument that then the child has "won," perhaps, the battle, but not the war, which is a longer-term prospect, and it could be a while before the child is invited to the next performance.

Teaching a child to behave in the theater is a process, and teaching mode is about the student and the "material." If the teacher/parent gets to see a performance in the process, that's gravy.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Helene, I agree with what you said. :blink: It seems to me that a portion of the audience/society still needs to learn some things.
And when ushers get involved, it can get more heated, because they are not on the same level as an audience member, who if not trained right, will not acknowledge the usher's duty to help enforce rules. Rules that help make a performance as enjoyable to as many people, if not everyone, as possible.

#15 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 12 July 2005 - 09:07 AM

One problem with ushers -- many ushers in regional arts centers are volunteers, often a bit elderly, and not professionally trained to handle this. The house has its own paid employees, but there are significantly fewer of them.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):