Mashinka

Rules on how to behave in the theatre

213 posts in this topic

every tripod should be equipped with a slingshot.

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Ah..the omnipresent marketing detail. Sorry. Always forget about it-(blame it on my communist upbringing....) :dunno:

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Some common prescription drugs also have an unfortunate "dry cough" side effect. Although water and lozenges can help, it's not really possible to eliminate the side effect completely.

I was taking something last summer with that effect and it was incredibly difficult to control I was in the middle of the prescription during the Ring cycle here -- I was able to minimize the problem, but not eliminate it. I am forever in debt to Ricola!

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I am forever in debt to Ricola!
For me, this season, it was the last of a series of Miami City Ballet performances in February. Thank you, CVS honey-lemon, sugar-free cough drops, which I used non stop through the program. Only a couple of little coughs. Silent paper wrappers. And NO calories. :wub:

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I’m prone to sneezing in the theatre, probably because the places aren't dusted/vacuumed properly. I always take an anti-histamine tablet before going out.

When I buy CD’s I always avoid ‘live’ performances. I know the purists say that studio recordings are ‘dead’, but it’s preferable to listening to an added ‘coughing chorus’.

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Some theaters now provide cough drops in baskets just in front of the entrance to the auditorium. I don't know if they still do it, but I've seen these at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC some years ago.

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Carnegie Hall provides two flavors of Ricola cough drops at least on both sides of the first level.

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Carnegie Hall provides two flavors of Ricola cough drops at least on both sides of the first level.

The programme sellers at the Royal Opera House have(had) a supply of 'cough sweets' which one just requested.

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Some theaters now provide cough drops in baskets just in front of the entrance to the auditorium. I don't know if they still do it, but I've seen these at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC some years ago.

The Kennedy Center provides them as well, but I can't remember if it's just in the Concert Hall, or also in the Opera House (one would think yes) and the Eisenhower Theater where dance is presented.

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The 92nd St. Y's cough drop of choice is Hall's, or it was last time I noticed. I've become a Ricola (original flavor) gal. At my most recent performance, they helped somewhat, but the bug quickly gained on me over the course of the program. :) Apologies to my neighbors, especially the BT-er whom I met for the first time that night.

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Let me take the opportunity to plug Hall's menthol (your drugstore's house menthol will also probably do just as well).

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Let me take the opportunity to plug Hall's menthol (your drugstore's house menthol will also probably do just as well).

Yes, Rite-Aid's are fine too. I use them all the time. Had friend who recently did print ad for Hall's that were all over subways here and in LA. He thinks he's famous now. Well, I certainly hope so...

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I was in the cinema once and there was a woman attending who had tourettes. It was difficult, not least because she was in agonies herself to minimise her tics. I know there's a world of difference between a tourettes sufferer and a moron with a mobile - but how do you all feel about people with disabilities such as tourettes, the symptoms of which can often be audibly intrusive in public performances?

To clarify, I absolutely believe in the right of anyone, no matter what their physical, neurological or learning disabilities may be, to attend public performance and be an active part of the audience.

The saddest thing about the woman at the cinema was the care she'd taken to minimise the effects of her Tourettes for the other audience members, she'd brought a wash cloth with her to bite, and she also was wearing a kind of modified purdah veil over her mouth, which I assumed was because one of her tics was spitting. Her Tourettes was something she lived with and existed with and had come up with several devices to lessen the effect of her tics on others - the care she'd given in thought to the audience members was considerable and as such the very least anyone could do was accord her the same respect.

People with learning disabilities such as Downs, autism etc can be very demonstrative audience members responding vociferously and enthusiastically when something delights them or indeed provokes any strong emotion within them - and I think that's great. We in the West are incredibly "proper" as a matter of course when watching public performance - in Carolyn Brown's biography "Chance and Circumstance" she wrote about the Cunningham company's first performances in India in 1964 accustomed to Western audiences and their polite clapping at the end of a performance, she was completely taken aback by the vociferous responses, oohs & aaahs, laughing, clapping, cheering etc of the Indian audience at any section which provoked a strong response in them. Moreover she loved that.

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Good question, Simon. Difficult, indeed. It's not as if you can just lean forward and ask her politely to stop and yet at the same time I'm sure it was a serious distraction. I have never had such an experience at the ballet or elsewhere but perhaps others have?

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Some theaters now provide cough drops in baskets just in front of the entrance to the auditorium. I don't know if they still do it, but I've seen these at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC some years ago.

The Colorado Symphony has provided free cough drops for years. Unfortunately, that didn't prevent someone from having a coughing spell Saturday evening that basically encompassed the entire final minute of Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending. :mad:

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Good question, Simon. Difficult, indeed. It's not as if you can just lean forward and ask her politely to stop and yet at the same time I'm sure it was a serious distraction. I have never had such an experience at the ballet or elsewhere but perhaps others have?

At a ballet performance in Oxford I was in the sitting in the stalls and became aware of a woman in the front row who kept beating her fists on the floor and emitting stifled cries. Another time at Sadlers Wells someone kept up a high pitched screech throughout the evening.

I know it’s not politically correct to say this, but I feel people with such advanced conditions should be discouraged from attending public performances.

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Another example, a regular attender who is prone to going into insulin shock during performances, requiring EMT services during performance. The patron tends to sit up front and center in the orchestra. Our theater staff is aware of this problem, but the person involved loves going to performances and is not amenable to suggestions about sitting elsewhere or staying at home. So what can one do?

As an older person, I sympathize with those who have loved the arts their entire lives. But it also clear that people have responsibilities to those around them. A time may come when you just have to stay at home. I confess that I have already given some thought to the time when this may be true about me as well: how to know? what to do? how to accept?

Meanwhile, I sympathize with theater staff -- and our performing arts staff is very considerate of people with disabilities -- who have to be concerned about bad publicity or even litigation if they make a mis-step.

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Another example, a regular attender who is prone to going into insulin shock during performances, requiring EMT services during performance. The patron tends to sit up front and center in the orchestra. Our theater staff is aware of this problem, but the person involved loves going to performances and is not amenable to suggestions about sitting elsewhere or staying at home. So what can one do?

As an older person, I sympathize with those who have loved the arts their entire lives. But it also clear that people have responsibilities to those around them. A time may come when you just have to stay at home. I confess that I have already given some thought to the time when this may be true about me as well: how to know? what to do? how to accept?

Meanwhile, I sympathize with theater staff -- and our performing arts staff is very considerate of people with disabilities -- who have to be concerned about bad publicity or even litigation if they make a mis-step.

Bart,

Never stay at home, keep going out until the very end and never curtail your love of anything because people think you're behaving improperly.

I mean however inconveniant this dude going into insulin shock may be, part of me says good for him, the other part thinks maybe he should sit in a more amenable spot for prompt medical attention. But if he dies in the theatre watching something he loves, I reckon it's how he wants to go - so let him.

I myself want to be eaten alive by wild beasts. I've been banned from all London, provincial and regional zoos and several ones in western Europe. But I'm holding out hope for my visit to Asia and the Americas.

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Simon, I think it doesn't quite work to get eaten by wild beasts from zoos, now does it? If it's really going to be effective, don't you need to be a little less domestic about it? There's just something a little anticlimactic about someone who wants a comfortable surrounding in which to be carved up by saber-tooth tigers (if they still existed.) It doesn't play, you know.

All you do is go to the jungle, they'll eat you right up there. And don't mind the money to get to New Guinea: If you don't get to the real jungle, creditors will be happy to do it if you overspent and still didn't find the right beasts. I imagine that's about the same, but a little less 'direct experience'. Also, I recommend concentrating on herpetariums if you can't get into the cages of the lions and polar bears, because I have seen cobras in the Fort Worth Zoo who act very willing even while in captivity. You could just punch out the glass and found out. Being of the opposite persuasion about such things, I've never gotten over just seeing those overly self-impressed cobras--it's as bad as the shower scene in Psycho.

I think that it's just that you want to text Jedward and listen to your iPod till the very last minute so that you won't experience your ownmost potential directly.

Thank you.

P.S. I don't think I've ever seen anti-social behaviour in a theater, but then I've been very sheltered. Except for when I was a student usher at the Met, and had to tell extremely loud German patrons to be quiet several times. For this helpful deed, I was reported to my bosses and told that 'you are from the BRONX!!!' I have never gotten over this either, but I don't know if loud talking is considered a disability.

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Simon, I think it doesn't quite work to get eaten by wild beasts from zoos, now does it? If it's really going to be effective, don't you need to be a little less domestic about it? There's just something a little anticlimactic about someone who wants a comfortable surrounding in which to be carved up by saber-tooth tigers (if they still existed.) It doesn't play, you know.

Yeah, but Patrick, what's the point if I don't have an audience?

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As a university student, the nearby theatre had a young mothers' room at the back. It had windows to watch the screening and piped in sound. The mothers could settle down infants without disruption. My childhood church had a similar room.

I wonder if this could work for fine arts?

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When Contact was playing at Lincoln Center, the stage projected out into the audience, so the actors were right there in front of the spectators in the first couple of rows.

I was seated in the front row, as the audience quieted and the dancers took their places for the start of the second act, a man near me (from whom, for the purposes of this anecdote, I disavow any acquaintance) indicated the dancer seated about seven feet away from us and in his regular, conversational voice said, "She's not very attractive, is she?" :blush: I have no doubt that she heard. If she's reading this, I apologize on behalf of the gentleman (as he is, 99% of the time, very well mannered -- even chivalrous).

Another example, a regular attender who is prone to going into insulin shock during performances, requiring EMT services during performance. The patron tends to sit up front and center in the orchestra. Our theater staff is aware of this problem, but the person involved loves going to performances and is not amenable to suggestions about sitting elsewhere or staying at home. So what can one do?
Since this patron and his condition is known to the staff, if I were the box office manager, I would refuse to sell him tickets that were not either in the last two rows or the seats at the end of the outside aisles (assuming there are outside aisles). It is not his prerogative to cause such a predictable disruption to the entire orchestra section. If this keeps him at home, so be it. I wonder how many subscribers have changed their dates to avoid being in the same audience as this fellow.

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When Contact was playing at Lincoln Center, the stage projected out into the audience, so the actors were right there in front of the spectators in the first couple of rows.

I was seated in the front row, as the audience quieted and the dancers took their places for the start of the second act, a man near me (from whom, for the purposes of this anecdote, I disavow any acquaintance) indicated the dancer seated about seven feet away from us and in his regular, conversational voice said, "She's not very attractive, is she?" :blush: I have no doubt that she heard. If she's reading this, I apologize on behalf of the gentleman (as he is, 99% of the time, very well mannered -- even chivalrous).

I once attended a performance of Claude Magnier's comedy Blaise which includes a scene in which the hero, a painter, is trying to persuade a reluctant model to pose in the nude. The actress was standing on a stool and wearing a crochet shawl, and at that point an elderly man in the second or third row pulled out his binoculars and aimed them straight at her. He was so excited he was practically twitching. The irony was that the actress never actually took off the shawl, not at this performance and presumably not at any other either, which didn't stop the old geezer.

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Going back to the beginning of the thread and the Tilson Thomas anecdote, what would you think about a conductor who went on with the show even though he knew that an audience member was suffering from a severe medical event and was being treated in the auditorium? Itzhak Perlman decided to continue a recent concert of the Israel Philharmonic "so as not to alarm the audience". The audience member was eventually removed from the auditorium and taken to hospital, where he later died. I don't know quite how much of a disturbance was created, but basically I thought Perlman's decision was the right one.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1158622.html

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Supplementary Rule: After throttling an annoying seatmate, it is not permissible to hang the body from a parterre box without the permission of the boxholder(s).

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